Welcome to Day 10 of our 3M Fast. Today, our Devotional will focus on the Fruit of “KINDNESS” as recorded in Galatians 5:22-23.
“But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
In our society, we often hear statements that summarizes the philosophy and mindset of our culture like, “Only the strong survive!” Statements like, “It’s a dog eat dog world, so you better toughen up!” Statements like, “Looking out for #1.” These statements unfortunately feed our appetites for self-advancement and yet in the face of a self-promoting and self-centered society, Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:5 (KJV)
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
Matthew 5:5 (KJV)
The question is, was Jesus impractical and naïve when He spoke these words? Was He blind to the concept of human nature and behavior? Is His Word out of step with the times in which we live? Obviously since He created us, He understands us. But He calls us to a higher level of living.
Up to this point, we have been examining ingredients that deal with our inner life; love, joy, peace, and patience. But today, we step it up a notch as we look at our outer life regarding kindness. Some of the most successful people I know often talk about how the trajectory of their lives was set by their own personal attitudes. It wasn’t the situation that defined them. It was the way they responded to situations that were most important of all. My life experiences have taught me to look at kindness not as a “Responsibility;” instead, see it as a “Choice!” When I look at it as a “Choice,” it’s pretty easy to get it right. It’s my choice to open a door for a stranger. It’s my choice not to ignore the elderly person struggling with carrying their bags. At the end of the day, I have to live with myself and the choices I make regarding being kind. I would much rather close my eyes at night with the satisfaction of knowing I did my best to help someone struggling rather than closing my eyes knowing I chose to ignore the person with difficulty and struggles.
Kindness is inexpensive but yet it accomplishes a whole lot! Mark Twain said, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. In the listing of the Fruit of the Spirit, Paul uses the Greek word, “Chrestotes,” that is translated into the word “Kindness.” “Chrestotes” is a word used to denote the characteristics or attributes of God that withhold His judgment towards us. Paul tells us in Roman chapter 2 verse 4 (NLT),
“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?”
Romans 2:4 (NLT)
Because of God’s kindness to us, we are told to clothe ourselves with kindness. In Colossians chapter 3 verse 12 (NLT), Paul tells us,
“Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourself with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Colossian 3:12 (NLT)
The Bible makes it clear that this ingredient, this characteristic called kindness, is only possible because of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. One common definition of kindness is “active helpfulness.” It’s your choice to be kind. What will you choose as His representative? Think of someone in your life to whom God may be asking you to demonstrate kindness towards. What steps do you sense the Holy Spirit asking you to take? The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.