April/May 2019 Pay It Forward Challenge – Operation Cart Kindness (return someone’s cart at the store).
“Pay it Forward” is an expression that describes the concept of repaying a good deed to others instead of the original benefactor.
It is our goal to see people engaging in acts of kindness to others only to say, “Don’t pay me back – I’m looking for nothing in return – pay it forward.”
The heart of “pay it forward” is based on Jesus’ statement in Matthew 7:12, “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
We are reminded again of the simplicity, but profundity of that passage. Often called, the golden rule. It calls on us to treat other people the way we want to be treated. It releases the love of God in our lives. And enables us to make a difference.
Paying it forward requires us to take the focus off of our lives, our problems, and our self-interest. Look for opportunities to do good. To give a helping hand. To contribute to worthy causes. To offer assistance to someone in need. The Bible exhorts, “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people…” (Gal. 6:10).
Paying it forward calls for us to genuinely care about other people. It is almost a proverb that “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” The Good Samaritan paid it forward because he cared and felt compassion for a hurting, helping man (Lk. 10:33-36). Paying it forward may not be that dramatic, but simply a kind, encouraging word. Author David Chiles suggested, “Pay it forward with free compliments. They are returned in due time.
Paying it forwards involves humility. A heart that truly wants to help doesn’t care who gets the credit. That’s why in so many “pay it forward” acts of kindness the donor is anonymous or at least doesn’t linger to receive any praise. Remember “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Jas 4:6).
In her book, Harvest of Hope: Living Victoriously Through Adversity, Dana Arcuri challenges us with these words, “Today, I challenge you to pay it forward. You don’t need to save a village—only one lost soul. Be the reflection of Christ and shine His light. The cost is little, but the reward is rich.”