The Fruit Of The Spirit: Kindness

Kindness word

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. Galatians 5:22-23

Over the last several weeks I have looked at the fruit of the Spirit–love, joy, peace and patience. Today I will be looking at kindness.

Kindness is the act of meeting the needs of someone else. It is not being harsh with other people.

The world is always looking for people to be kind. Everyone wants others to be kind to them, to not hurt them or do anything wrong to them. However, many people are not really that kind to others. Harsh words are said. Lying to others occurs. Cheating on others occurs. Violence and abuse is rampant. Hatred abounds.

The believer, the follower of Jesus is to be different.

Throughout the bible many people requested of others to be shown kindness. They did not want to be harmed in any way. There were some that did show kindness.

Naomi exclaimed that Boaz had shown great kindness when he provided food for Ruth.

Wheat field

In 2 Chronicles 2, David gave honor to the men from Jabesh Gilead for their kindness in burying Saul after he was killed. This honor was given when the kindness was shown to his enemy, who was out to kill him.

David later wants to show kindness to anyone who was left from the house of Saul, his enemy. He understood God’s kindness to him and wanted to pass that on to others. The interesting thing with David is that he is showing kindness to the family of his mortal enemy. As king, he had the right to destroy all of Saul’s family line, but he chose instead to show God’s kindness.

“In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer. Isaiah 54:8

Isaiah quotes God in talking about His kindness. God was angry with Israel for rebelling against Him and following false gods, but He chose instead to be kind to them with compassion, giving them what they really needed.

Person sitting by road

Years later Jesus gives a parable about the good Samaritan in Luke 10:29-37. This man showed kindness to the enemy. He had the man given right to ignore the man on the side of the road, but chose to help him instead. He not only helped him in the short term of getting him to the hospital, but took care of all of his expenses.

Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? Romans 2:4

Paul points out the value of God’s kindness. It is because of His great kindness that one is led to Him to repent. God is not a God who just judges harshly and condemns everyone. God wants to save people. He wants a relationship with people. If He were not kind, then we would never have a chance to be saved. We would be afraid to repent, because we would fear harsh judgment.

Romans 2_4

Let a righteous man strike me–that is kindness; let him rebuke me–that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it, for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers. Psalm 141:5

Most people take offense at a rebuke, but David had a different thought on what a rebuke may look like. A rebuke is a harsh condemning of an action or word and is thus usually hated. He saw a rebuke from a righteous (believer) person as good. He saw a rebuke as an act of kindness. This rebuke would cause him to refocus back onto God and check himself in his actions and words. Not giving a rebuke would be to allow a person to continue to live in sin or in a wrong way. Kindness will point Him towards God and His word.

Colossians 3_12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

The final verse I want to look at is written by Paul in Colossians. He tells the Colossian church to clothe themselves with kindness. This should be a mark of the believer.

There are many more examples of the kindness of Jesus shown in the gospels. He was kind to the blind, the lame, the lepers, the drunkards, the adulterers, and sinners. The only people Jesus was not very kind to were those who claimed to know God, but went against God in what they did and taught.

Every day you will have plenty of opportunities to show kindness to others. It could be in the checkout lane at the store, at a gas station, driving down the road, passing by a person on the sidewalk or many other places and situations.

You will have many people who are enemies to you. They will harm you either physically or emotionally with words. When this occurs you will have a choice to either retaliate in anger and vengeance or to return their harm with the kindness and love of God.

Open brown door

Being a believer you will have God’s Holy Spirit in you. With His Holy Spirit in you, you should be displaying His kindness towards everyone. This is another fruit of the Spirit.

If you examine your life and find you are lacking in the area of kindness, seek God for help. Examine how God has shown you kindness and then become more like Jesus in showing kindness towards others. Let your life be marked by one as having kindness towards everyone.

The fruit of the Spirit continues to grow from each one to the next. As you have God’s love showing in your life, you will have His joy, which will bring about His peace, which will bring about His forbearance/patience, which will bring about His kindness in your life. These are the first four fruits that should be evident in your life when you are following Jesus and are filled with His Holy Spirit.

Thank you for continuing on this journey of looking at the fruit of the Spirit. Next week I will continue on with looking at goodness.

Psalm 7:17 Giving Thanks And Praises

Guitar playing

I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High. Psalm 7:17 

When a person does something good, people will often give thanks and praise. Those that receive some of that good will give the thanks for what was done. Those that did not receive it, but did see it, will give praise for what was done.

People like to see good things being done by others. Although the world does not always see good things as being really good. When lives are touched for God, the world sees that as a bad thing, but when lives are touched by provision and healing, they see it as good.

David sees God’s righteousness as something that is good and give Him thanks and then praises His name. This was done at a time when David’s life was at risk, when his enemies were numerous and treachery against him was common.

Seeing God’s righteousness as good is not always easy or fun to do. Being righteous means doing the right thing each and every time, regardless of how it looks or feels. That ‘doing the right thing’ is doing the right thing for everyone, not just one or two people. It is also done with eternity in mind.

In the process of God doing the right thing in a person’s life, many people get upset. They do not want to be corrected or go through a tough time, in order to grow stronger. People are then not very thankful for what God is doing.

As they grumble about God’s choices and actions, they forget to sing praises of His name. They only speak words of grumbling and complaining. Some will even choose to walk away from God, thinking that He does not love them. However, this is not true, God’s love for each and every person is real and perfect.

As you look upon what God is doing or not doing in your life, know that those actions are the best ones for your life. God’s love for you is perfect and undying. He will only do the best for your life. This is done because of His perfect righteousness and love.

Give God thanks for what He is doing in your life or not doing in your life. Trust that He knows what is best. Then, sing praises to His name. He is worthy of all praise.

I pray today that you will know the work of God in your life; that you will know God’s love for you; that you will know God’s perfect righteousness; that you will give God thanks for all He is doing; and that you will sing praises of God’s name to this world. 

Psalm 3:3 God Is A Shield

Sword and shield

But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. Psalm 3:3 

No matter where a person goes there can be some enemies. With all of the various mass shootings lately, there are many people going around in extreme fear, not knowing if they will be the next to be killed. Students are afraid to go to school, because some other student may choose to do some killing that day.

Then there are also the enemies who don’t necessarily do physical harm, those who do verbal damage. The majority of danger people face is with words that are lies or hurtful.

The world is trying to figure out what is wrong and how to fix the situation. People are always walking around in fear of the unknown enemy.

David was running in fear, when his son Absalom was trying to physically kill him and take the throne as king of Israel. David felt as if everyone was against him and there were enemies everywhere. Suddenly David realized, however, that God was his shield and who lifted him up. It was God who made him king, so it would be God who could protect him.

Every believer has enemies, just as David did. Some will physically be trying to attack and kill, while the majority will just verbally attack the person. The effect is the same.

Looking around it appears as if the enemy, the world, is winning the battle. They appear to be the stronger enemy. Yet, God is still in control.

God is the shield for every believer. No one can do anything without His permission. Remember with Job, Satan had to get permission to attack him. God shielded Job and will shield the believer today.

This does not mean that attacks and injuries will not happen, but it does mean that the believer will not be destroyed.

You may be going through some attacks right now, physically or verbally. Look to God for your strength and protection. He is your shield, just as He was with David.

God will lift you up and make you shine in this dark world. Do not let the enemies attacks cause you to fear, because God will lift up your head and allow you to walk as His child, an heir to the kingdom of heaven. God will deliver you from the enemy–Satan–in the end.

Trust God to be your shield today.

I pray today that you will know God’s presence in your life; that you will know God’s protection; that God will remove fear of the enemy in your heart and mind; and that God will lift your head in the sight of your enemies. 

2 Chronicles 6:15 God Keeps His Promise

Worship God in a field

You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it–as it is today. 2 Chronicles 6:15 

Promises are made every day by people all over the world. At the same time, promises are also broken every day by people all over the world. Broken promises occur so much that most people do not like to trust anyone’s word. Contracts have to be written up and signed for people to somewhat trust others, and even then, many still don’t trust their word.

The more complex a promise is, the greater it means when it is fulfilled. It can be refreshing when a promise if fulfilled. And it is crushing and depressing when a promise is broken.

Solomon had finished having the temple built for God. As he was in the process of dedicating it, he pointed out to God that He had been faithful and fulfilled His promise to David in him. God had promised the temple would be built by Solomon and it was. God had fulfilled His promise to David and Solomon.

Several thousand years later, God is still in the business of fulfilling His promises. He has never broken His word of promise to anyone to this day.

The challenge comes for many believers in recognizing God’s promises and realizing that it was God’s promise being fulfilled when something occurs. God has promised to meet every need of a believer. Many do not think God is meeting the needs, even though He has. It is some of the wants that God has not met, because it is not the best for the believer.

Believers need to stop and realize God’s hand of fulfillment in their lives each day. When good things are happening, it is often a fulfillment of a promise of God in one’s life.

Think of all the good things that has occurred in your life. How many of those things, if your really think about it, are a part of God’s promises to you? God’s provision of healing, food, joy, peace, forgiveness, clothing, housing and more.

God has been faithful to you each day and will not stop being faithful. No matter what God has promised you, in visions or from His word, He will make it happen.

Be willing to give God praise for His faithfulness to you. Let the world know of His faithfulness.

I pray today that you will see what God has given you; that you will know the promises of God to you; that you will see when God is fulfilling a promise to you; and that you will give God praise for His faithfulness to you.

1 Chronicles 29:11 Everything Belongs To God

Milky way at night

Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 1 Chronicles 29:11 

Ownership of something is desired of most people. They want to own something. People want things to be theirs and not anyone else’s.

This type of desire starts as a young child wanting a toy to be his own and not anyone else’s. He will often refuse to share it, because it is his. As a teen-ager, the boy then wants a car of his own, because everyone else has their own car. He desires to get around on his own and not have to rely on parents or friends. Adults desire an unlimited group of things that they want for their own.

Having ownership of something means that one is in control of it, it is his.

As David was getting ready to die, he gave God some praise. He realized who God is and how great he is. As David saw that, he also realized that everything in heaven and on earth belongs to God.

Understanding that God owns everything can help the believer. It starts off with helping when he loses something. People lose things all the time, and it is not just misplacement here, it is the item is taken away for some reason. Positions come and go, but God is the one with power and position. Knowing that God owns everything helps the believer know that the item was not his anyways.

Along with that, it helps the believer when he is in need of something. God owns everything that a person needs and can provide it as needed. God is a generous God and desires to give His people good things, both physical and non-physical things. Anything that is needed, He is more than willing to supply. One just needs to trust Him for it.

You may be struggling in the area of things. There are things that you have lost and there are things that you need. Instead of focusing on what you lost or need, focus on God. Give Him praise for everything He has already blessed you with.

Realize that those things were and are not yours anyways. Everything belongs to God, whether it is physical or non-physical things.

Give God praise today because He owns everything. Then trust Him for your needs.

I pray today that you will know who God is; that you will give God praise for what He has given you; that you will trust God in what He takes from you; and that you will see God’s hand of provision in your life for all of your needs.