PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• This is Day Five of our nine-day study of the Fruits of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
Today, we’re looking at KINDNESS.
In the New Testament, our word for “kindness” was translated from the Greek word “chrestotes.”
It’s a word used to describe behaviors such as gentleness, goodness, uprightness, generosity, and graciousness.
Just a quick review of that list, isn’t that what we want from other people?
When we embrace this fruit, it’s in short an act of the acronym “WWJD?” (What Would Jesus Do?)
Of course, ALL the fruits of the Spirit are a reflection of Jesus, but every time I read Scripture, I’m always struck by His kindness and compassion.
This morning, my Bible reading had me in John 8, and the story of the adulterous woman the Pharisees wanted to stone.
It was Jesus’ kindness and compassion for the woman that set her free.
And kindness is one of those things where the giver benefits as much as (if not more so!) than the receiver.
Proverbs 11:17 ESV says, “A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.”
I’m going to have a bragging mama moment here…
One of my favorite memories of my son was a moment of random kindness.
When he was in elementary school, we used to stop at a little deli on the way home and have cookies and root beer.
An elderly woman came in while we were eating, and she sat behind me.
My son kept watching her, and I told him to stop staring.
Then he asked (very loudly), “Mom, can I go help that woman?”
Of course, she heard him.
She was struggling to open a can of Coke, and when she heard his question, she asked him, “Will you open this for me?”
He wiped his hands on a napkin (another proud mama moment), opened her drink, then went to get her napkins and utensils.
As I sat there, with tears in my eyes, I was humbled beyond belief.
The care and kindness he extended was beyond my expectations.
But for me, the memory of my 8-year-old interrupting his afternoon snack to help a stranger, gives me hope.
We weren’t active in church at the time, but my son went with my mom and grandparents on occasion.
Hindsight shows me that was a moment when my son was used to be the hands and feet of Christ.
It demonstrated that He can work in people of any age.
It taught me that kindness can be given, even when the world around us is chaotic and confusing.
I love the hope wrapped up in that memory…
Today, as much as our society talks about kindness, we don’t see it enough.
In fact, on Friday night, a friend came over for coffee and we had this very discussion.
I told her that it bothers me that within my news apps, there’s usually a story of some bit of kindness.
Let me explain.
We’ve got a society that thrives on being perpetually offended.
Our headlines are full of accusations and he said / she said statements.
So why would it bother me that random bits of kindness are thrown into the mix?
It bothers me because kindness is such an anomaly these days, we have to point it out.
What would it be like for kindness to be so commonplace in our society that it DIDN’T warrant a headline??
I hope that my weird train of logic makes sense.
Of course I’m not criticizing acts of kindness.
So far in this Fruits of the Spirit series, we’ve covered love, joy, peace, and patience.
And 1 Corinthians 13:4a tells us that kindness is a part of two of those fruits—“Love is patient and kind;”
Love and patience.
In the fruit bowl of Christian attributes, kindness is a key ingredient.
Today, as you pray, praise Jesus for being the greatest example of kindness.
And thank Him for acts of kindness you bear witness to or receive.
Ask the Holy Spirit to give you opportunities for kindness that you will embrace as you model what Christ did for us.