Kindness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22).
Am I kind . . . or do I just think I’m kind?
Each of us, as a Christian, needs to reflect on this question.
Is the Kindness Fruit of the Spirit ripe within me . . . or still green?
When I talk with a family member or encounter a stranger, how do I present myself?
Do I donate to a charitable organization, but ignore the needs of a family member?
Am I too quick to anger or frustration at a sales clerk or driver who is moving too slowly?
Do I take time to listen when someone is relating a personal story of pain?
If approached by a homeless person on the street or in a parking lot, what do I do? I understand, for women, this could be alarming and there's no guilt in moving away and seeking safety. But for us men, while common sense and caution are still the first response, when we figure out there's no danger, what then?
Do we give the person a minute, listen to his story, relate to his pain, understand his struggle, and try to find a way to make his day a little better? Or do we shun him as we would a stray dog?
If we can determine the person is not simply looking for a handout for alcohol or cigarettes, but genuinely trying to turn his life around, think about the impact we can have by providing a $3 bus fare or sharing scripture and a positive message of hope and encouragement.
By doing such a little thing, we may each impact a life – or even save a life. And who's to say the encounter may not be a test of our Christian character? We know God sees all and angels are real. Something to think about.
Closer to home, each of us should reflect on our kindness to family members. Do we encourage, motivate, and build them up? Or do we tear them down through negative comments or refusing a simple request for help (of any type, not just monetary) when we know the request is sincere? If there is no request, do we still look for opportunities to be kind?
Do we reflect the Holy Spirit's fruit of kindness? This fruit of the Spirit can produce a whole garden of kindness as the recipients are impacted and pay it forward.
Kindness is one of Jesus's defining characteristics. The more we nurture the Spirit and let Him produce kindness within us, the more we advance along the road toward Christ-likeness!
"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love."
- 2 Peter 1:3-7
As Christians, we have become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and are participating in the divine nature through God’s promise of salvation through Christ.
It is incumbent upon us, then, to live a godly life. Not a perfect life (sin is a pesky problem), but a life moving and maturing toward one overflowing with the fruits of the Spirit.
We can take another step in that direction by simply being kind to others.
If you haven’t read Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, I really encourage you to do so. It may change your life (it’s that powerful).
LIGHT SPARK MEDIA
Copyright 2020 James Wallace