When you are the one picking up leftover grain for a living, you know it. You know that you are dependent on charity to survive. And if someone is leaving you a larger than usual portion of leftovers, it is even more in your face.

Ruth was aware of her position as she was gathering grain behind the harvesters. She did not dare entertain any feelings of humiliation at the cost of her and Naomi's survival. Boaz was sensitive enough to understand this. He showed kindness by not rubbing it in.

When Boaz instructed the harvesters to leave generous portions of grain behind, he also made sure that Ruth would not be humiliated. "And pull out some heads of barley from the bundles and drop them on purpose for her. Let her pick them up, and don't give her a hard time!" (Ruth 2:16, NLT).

Sometimes our good deeds can do more harm than good. A person who relies on charity may feel humiliated by the way we approach our giving. We often rub the faces of the needy in it without intending to. That is not God's way.

Let us follow the example of Jesus when showing kindness. In John 8, Jesus did not preach to the adulterous woman after the Pharisees humiliated her. He assured her that He did not condemn her and gave her space to heal. "And Jesus said, 'Neither do I. Go and sin no more'" (John 8:11, NLT).

God does not rub our faces in it when we draw near to Him. "He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle" (Isaiah 42:3, NLT). Show the same kindness to someone in your life today!

Scripture readings:

Ruth 2:14-23

John 8:1-11

Isaiah 42:3