In continuing our study of the Fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23 – this week’s Fruit is kindness.
Kindness is the quality or state of being kind.
Being kind speaks of a friendly, generous, or warm-hearted nature, showing sympathy or understanding, being charitable, gentle, sensitive, considerate, forbearing, and tolerant.
The first person that comes to mind when I think of kindness is Mother Theresa. As she cared for the poor and the dying, she didn’t consider what the person looked like. Indeed they were often filthy and diseased, but she saw God in every person and treated each one as she would treat Jesus.
This is what I call the ultimate in kindness, - a goal to strive for. Not many of us are equipped to go to Calcutta or feel called to such self-sacrifice, so lets look at kindness in our everyday life.
In Ephesians 4:32 we are told that we are to be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as God forgave us.
Can we forgive others as God forgave us? God forgives us every time we mess up. Jesus sacrificed His life to pay for every lie we tell, every gossipy thing we say, every time we are selfish with our money or our time and every time we utter unkind words when cut off in traffic. We are forgiven for our thoughtless behavior and now we are asked to forgive others in the same way. I think this is where kindness begins.
- I will be patient with the elderly lady who is driving slowly and is unsure of where to turn.
- I will take time out of my day to take an elderly neighbor to the grocery store.
- I will stop to talk about what is important to my six year old even when I have so many important things to do.
- I will let that child help when I could get it done faster and better by myself.
- I will let someone else be ‘right’ even when I am certain.
- I will let someone else be first when I am faster and smarter.
- I will love the unlovable mentally handicapped man who carries groceries in the supermarket.
- I will be respectful of beggars and homeless who are shunned by society.
- I will always treat others as though they are of higher status.
In the fast paced, competitive life most of us live in, showing kindness too often takes a backseat. Will you take time out of your day to ask God to help you implement this Fruit of the Spirit?