Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 2:6-7, 4:32; Various
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT - Kindness
Good evening and welcome again to our nightly Bible devotional. We have been talking about the slices of the spiritual fruit found in Galatians 5:22-23 which include of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. As Christians, we are supposed to produce every aspect of this spiritual fruit and not just specialize in just one or two slices. We produce this fruit when we allow God’s Holy Spirit to work in us in our daily walk with the Lord. When we walk in step with the Spirit we produce desired results God has for us.
We’ve talked about the first four: love, joy, peace, and patience. Five more to go. Tonight we are going to tackle kindness. Sounds easy. Kindness sounds like something you learned from a kindergarten class. You can hear that finger-wagging teacher now: “Make sure to be nice and treat one another with kindness.” The discipline of kindness traces back to our childhood. From the very beginning, we are taught and conditioned to be kind to one another. However, kindness goes much farther than saying “please” and “thank you” to people you interact with. Kindness is not to be confused with manners or being civil with each other.
The general idea is that a kind person is warm-hearted or good natured…but it’s more than that. The dictionary defines kindness as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate…but it’s more than that. The Greek word used in Galatians 5:22 is χρηστότης - chréstotés (khray-stot’-ace) which is defined as a goodness, excellence, uprightness. It is a Spirit-produced goodness which meets the needs of others and avoids human harshness or cruelty. Some might say that this is compassion or “love in action”. This word is also used in Romans 2:4 where it talks about of “the riches of God’s kindness”. So this type of kindness is more than just treating each other cordially. It is a divine kindness that is produced when we walk in step with God’s Holy Spirit.
In Muncie, Indiana a friend of mine reported that some of the church people are doing “random acts of kindness.” A random act of kindness is a selfless act performed by a person or people wishing either to assist or to cheer up an individual person or people. Some of the people are leaving gifts or food at the front door of people in their neighborhood, ringing the door, and watching their reaction from the safety of their car. The little children are painting rocks and writing scriptures verses and leaving these bright colored stones all over so that when people walk down the street or go out in their yard they will be reminded of God’s love. Others are posting signs, not only to the health care workers, but to others who need to a cheering up. A friend of mine went out with her mother who is 87 to deliver pre-made meals to people who need them. Another friend of mine is making beautiful chalk drawings in the driveways of people in his neighborhood to cheer them up.
Kindness comes from a heart posture of gratitude. Gratitude for all that God has done for us. Gratitude that we are able to do and act because Jesus set us free from the bondage of sin and death. Gratitude for all the blessings we have received and a desire to share them with others.
Ephesians 2:6-7 says, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” God expresses his kindness to us so that we can express his kindness to others. His kindness flows from us. It is a heart and character posture. It is the notion that every person deserves to be treated with respect and kindness and to have their needs met.
It is also to help us to remember how each of these slices of the spiritual mentioned in turn helps build on the next. Love often leads to joy. Joy often leads to peace. Peace often leads to patience.Patience will lead you to kindness. And kindness leads to goodness. What is the difference between kindness and goodness. You’ll have to join us tomorrow for our next episode to find out.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Abba, Father, I praise you for the riches of your kindness. I ask that you help me to produce the a delicious slice of kindness in my life so that others can enjoy the riches of your kindness too. Help me to stay in step with your Holy Spirit. I want to be kind to everyone. Help me to