John 13: 15 “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.”
Doesn’t that sound a lot like “paying it forward”?
The paying it forward concept is that when a good deed is done to you, you do a good deed for someone else. Professional athletes do this when they use their influence to encourage children to exercise. A radio station in Minneapolis does “drive thru difference;” this is where listeners pay for the car behind them at the drive thru. Often the radio station receives phone calls from drivers who then paid for the car behind them. One act of kindness led to another.
How great to instill this concept in our children. Count your blessings and then pass a blessing on to someone else. Be generous in serving others, out of the overflow of knowing how much God has done for us.
One very practical way of paying it forward that we can instill in our children has to do with compliments. When our children receive a compliment they can be encouraged to say, “Thank you” and then pass a compliment on to someone else. How would this look?
Here is an example: Judy is complimented on her nice hat, she responds, “Thank you, my father bought each of us one of these hats because they really block the wind.”
Another example: Steve is complimented on his dribbling skills, he responds, “Thank you, my coach has spent a lot of time with me working on dribbling.”
This idea of paying it forward does not have to become a “must”. A child does not need to be corrected for not “paying it forward,” rather taught how to see if there is someone else that helped make the compliment a possibility. At times, a plain “thank you” would be appropriate, but when possible encourage sharing a compliment with someone else.