But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Spirit Fruit: Kindness
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is an amazing contrast of the world and the child of God. There are few similarities as the light of God shines in a world darkened by the hatred, prejudice, and self-serving dictates of the human soul. The Christian is filled with the fruit that will show kindness to all men while the carnal heart looks out for self and no one else. A contrast of spirits shows the disposition of a disciple of Christ to be mild of temper, calm in spirit with an unruffled nature seeking the betterment of his neighbor. He is a kind and gentle person. This is not something a person naturally develops in life but comes from the Holy Spirit.
Kindness is a gentle word that is a moral platform of God’s grace. Joseph Joubert defined kindness as “Loving people more than they deserve.” Kindness began with God, and He expects His children to follow His example. The fruit of the Spirit shows kindness to be part of the growing process in the heart of the Christian. It also suggests that kindness is not a natural outgrowth of a disposition someone is born with. Kindness is an act that shows love toward enemies. It takes the hatred of self and follows the pattern of Jesus, who sacrificed Himself for others. The home is established on kindness as an integral part of the marital relationship of husband and wife. A happy marriage is when the husband shows kindness to his wife, and the wife expresses kindness to her husband. Parents teach their children to be kind to everyone. Respecting the elderly, helping those in need, and showing respect to those in authority is how young people learn kindness.
The proverb writer says that what is desired in a man is kindness, and the mouth of the virtuous woman is filled with wisdom and the law of kindness. It is interesting to see that kindness is a law. The fruit of the spirit is given for men to accept the will of the Father to be people who are kind, slow to anger, and merciful. Paul would tell Colosse saints to be the elect of God; they must put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, and forgiveness with love. The cousins of kindness are the true characteristics of a child of God. Christians are known for their kindness. This is one of the great dividing pictures of those who live according to the Spirit and those who live according to the flesh.
Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit that must be developed. It is not a natural outgrowth of a person’s disposition. Peter will include in the graces of a Christian the need to add to godliness brotherly kindness. It is a formula that must come from the heart of God, learned in the spirit of man, and shown through the active hands of a Christian. If there is any kindness in the world, it must come from God’s people first. Grouchy, angry, discontented, unhappy, and resentful people do not show the love of God and His kindness. It may be hard for some folk to be kind, but God expects it. Nay – He demands it.
The joy of kindness is the fruit it bears. Open a door for another. Smile – it becomes contagious. Let others know you care about them. Send a note to encourage. Help others. Help someone without being asked. Prepare a meal. Tell someone you care about them. Give a flower. Say thank you and please. Never fall victim to gossip but speak the truth in love. Forgive. Sing. Pray. Show the heavenly Father your kindness. The greatest kindness you can do for another is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and help them find eternal life. That is the kindness that will never end. Be kind.