FIFTY IN MY TEACHING SERIES ON THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”Galatians 5:22-23
Our world is full of people who cut in line, insult others, don’t open doors for old ladies, laugh at others’ misfortunes and try to show their superiority by dragging others down. Yet there are also many people who let others go ahead of them in line, compliment those around them, hurry to open doors for people, sympathize with others’ misfortune and show their humility and willingness to serve others. It’s easy to pick out the people who are showing kindness! People like to receive it, but often don’t really see the benefit of being kind.
What Does God Say About Kindness?
The Greek word translated “kindness” here is “the divine kindness from which God acts toward humankind.” It is what the Bible means when it says that “God is good.”. Christians should show kindness by behaving toward others as God has behaved toward them.” Basically it means “doing thoughtful deeds to others.”
Throughout the Bible, two other qualities are often associated with kindness: love and mercy. In 2 Peter 1:7, Peter wrote of adding love to “brotherly kindness.” Paul wrote about putting on “tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering” (Colossians 3:13).
“Therefore, vas the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things zput on love, which is the bond of perfection.“Colossians 3:12-14 NKJV
What Is Kindness?
Kindness is based on the mind-set described in Philippians 2:3-4:
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”Philippians 2:3=4 NIV
Kindness is humbly giving love and mercy to others who may not be able to give anything back, who sometimes don’t deserve it, and who frequently don’t thank us for it. Kindness becomes a way of thinking that leads to doing thoughtful deeds for others.
Why Does God Want Us To Demonstrate Kindness?
Proverbs 19:22 states, “What is desired in a man is kindness.” Why? Why would God consider this trait so important?
God wants us to become like Him. Though God’s tender mercies and loving kindnesses are often taken for granted, His servants recognize His hand. The same will be true of us if we follow His example and are merciful and kind as He is. Biblical history shows that God’s mercy and kindness was many times shown through people He inspired.
““Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking.” These are clearly traits God does not want in His chosen people!. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”Ephesians 4:31-32
Why does God want us to demonstrate kindness? We are tools to extend God’s lovingkindness and mercy to the world. We are to reflect the light and example of His compassion, mercy, and kindness to others.
- Does the kindness I show to others reflect God’s kindness to me? Examples?
- Do I seek to gain from the kindness I show, or is it pure kindness? How do I know?
- Do my kind acts have the components of mercy, love and compassion? How so?
- When I am truly able, how much do I sacrifice for others instead of showing selfishness?
Growing In Kindness
Sometimes it’s the little things that count. Striving to show more of these tender mercies to others little by little will add up to a completely changed overall attitude—one formed by kindness. Some examples of ways to show kindness include:
- Give genuine compliments to others to help brighten their day.
- Interact with strangers instead of just walking by them or looking down at the ground (
- Sit and talk with people who clearly appear to not want to be by themselves.
- Make room for kindness in your personality and daily schedules.
- Don’t squander opportunities for kindness.
- Kindness is a show of mercy and love to other human beings with no thought of reward.
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