Monday, August 17, 2015

Fruit of the Spirit - Kindness

We have been talking about the 9 Biblical attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit.  This week we are on the fifth, which is kindness or gentleness.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Gal. 5:22.  We should live “in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left”2 Cor. 6:6-7.

Kindness is a quality of being kind, an act of kindness, being of a friendly or generous nature, showing sympathy, mercy, empathy, or understanding, warm-heartedness.

Last time we talked about how many people are impatient and have short fuses.  People have lost the ability to treat others with respect and kindness.  Kindness is linked with love as is loving kindness.  Being kind doesn’t mean you are weak and it doesn’t compromise the truth.  It’s a manner of speaking and acting.  It’s an attitude.  It comes from an attitude that everyone around you is worthy of being treated well – even yourself.  Stop being angry with yourself and forgive yourself, and be kind to yourself.

Kindness puts others at ease telling them you are not out to do harm, which allows people to feel safe around you.  We are to do to others as God has done for us (Eph. 4:32).

God has shown us kindness.  We were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to sin, envious, hateful – just to name a few.  God sent His Son, Jesus to save us not on the basis of our deeds, but according to His mercy and by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:3-7).

Since God is kind, the follower of Jesus is to be kind.  That’s part of being holy.  We are to treat people with respect, use gentle words, provide a helping hand to the elderly, and help the needy.  Do random acts of kindness.  Give them a little taste of God’s love.

“I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.” Lev. 11:44.

How do you show kindness to others?
Are you words gentle or harsh?

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered – Love them anyway.

“Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”Col. 3:12-13.

Kindness is a growth process as you let the Spirit live in you and remain in Him.  Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”John 15:5. 

Kindness demonstrates Christ to the world.  So practice kindness - Practice, Practice, Practice.  If we are willing, the Spirit will enable us to respond in love and kindness. 

Next time we will talk more about the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit.  We still have goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to cover.  Hope to see you here.

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