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.

Isaiah 66:1-2 Where To Build God’s House?

This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. Isaiah 66:1

There are times that it is difficult to purchase a person a birthday gift. They seem to have everything that they could possibly want. Looking at wealthy people, this even seems more so. Getting a gift for someone who has all they desire can be quite a challenge. A lot of it will depend upon the heart of the person. What does a person get the person who has everything that they want?

Most people do not have the problem of having so much that there is nothing left to possibly want. Nearly every person can think of several things that they desire. Most of those things will most likely be physical things, while some will also be non-physical things, such as peace, joy, happiness, or health.

One thing that many people will like, but not necessarily ask for is something hand-made or time with that person. This shows something that was made and given from the heart.

God is the one who has made the heavens and the earth. Since He has made everything that exists, He also owns it. Now God is looking for something. He is looking for a place to rest. This shows His heart’s real desire.

As a human being, you may wonder what can you give God, since He owns it all already. God created you to have fellowship with you. He wants to sit down and rest with you. Even though God made everything there is, He wants a place to rest and be still.

The place He desires is in you. It is in your heart and life. God wants to spend time with you. Of all the things that you can give God, this is the only one that God does not already have. God made your heart, but gave it to you. Now it is your turn to give it back to Him.

Allow God to make your heart His temple. This will be the best house and gift God can ever have.

Will you build a house for God today?

I pray today that you will dedicate your heart to God; that God will find a place to rest in your life; that your heart will be a welcome spot for God to live; and that you will know God’s presence in your life.

Isaiah 65:2 God Is Holding Out His Hands

All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations–Isaiah 65:2

All throughout the Old Testament the nation of Israel would walk away from God and choose their own paths. They would pursue a path that, to them, appeared to be the best path. That path would be one without God in it. As they were doing this God would continually hold out His hands wanting to take them back. His great desire was to restore their relationship with Him.

Although several thousand years have passed, the pattern is still occurring worldwide. People every where are pursuing their own dreams and imaginations. Many feel if they can just get the right job position, or the right house, or hit a certain level of being famous, or live in the right area, or marry the right person, or some other thing, then everything will be perfect. Life will be the best if these things are met.

All of these things are just like taking a drug. They will make a person happy for a moment, but will quickly wear off. One will need to get more and more, higher doses to keep the happiness desired. Often a lot of these things that they pursue are not good for them, and are not what God wants for them.

As they are walking down these paths, searching for joy and contentment, God is reaching out His arms to them. He has the perfect plan for each one. He has a path for them, that will bring perfect contentment, joy and peace.

Many people look at what God has to offer and reject His arms reaching out to them. They see it as hard and difficult, with no real joy. God’s joy and peace is not always for the immediate, it is usually for the long run. His ways are the best ways in the end and are not just temporary fixes.

Each day, as you walk through this life, know that God is reaching His arms out to you, to hold you and guide you through this life. He wants the absolute best for you.

Are you willing to jump into His arms and trust Him?

Or will you continue, like most of the world, to follow your own imaginations?

I pray today that you will see God reaching out to you; that you will trust God’s arms of guidance; that God will strengthen you to turn from sinful imaginations and pursuits; and that you will walk in the ways of God.

Isaiah 64:8 Are You Moldable?

Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8

Clay is something that is amazing. When it is moist and soft, it is very moldable and can be shaped into many different shapes. One is a good potter can turn the clay into bowls, plates, cups, vases, decorations, pictures, statues and more.

The potter takes his time in making the object with the clay.  He puts in more clay in some spots and takes out some of the clay in other spots. If it does not turn out the way he envisions it, then he will crush it down and start over. During this time, he must keep the clay moist so that it will remain moldable. When it starts to dry out, that is when it can no longer be molded or shaped into what the potter desires. If it dries out too much and is not in the correct shape, it becomes worthless and must be thrown out.

People are just like the clay, in that humans are made from the dust of this earth, filled with water and blood, and given life and purpose.

Throughout the bible, the Holy Spirit is shown as oil or water. It is what moistens a person’s life. Without God in his life, the person has dried up and cannot be shaped and molded into what God wants him to be.

As a believer, you must allow God’s Holy Spirit to be in your life on a daily basis. Allow Him to moisten your life so that you may be molded and shaped into what God wants. During this time of molding, it may be painful and not make any sense, just like the clay on a potter’s wheel looks at first.

God will take out some clay in your life and add other clay in your life as needed. He is molding you to be just like Jesus. You are to be in the image of Jesus and are a work in progress.

Many grow cold and dry up, not enjoying the pain and molding God is doing, so not allowing God to mold them. They refuse to be what God wants them to be.

Who are you today?

Are you the clay that is allowing God to mold?

Or are you dried up, refusing to be molded?

God has a great picture in mind for what you are to look like. Allow Him to mold you today into that picture.

I pray today that you will be filled with God’s Holy Spirit; that you will be open to God’s shaping you; that you will become who God wants you to be; and that God will use you in His kingdom on this earth.

Isaiah 63:7 Tell Of His Kindness

I will tell of the kindness of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us–yes, the many good things he has done for Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses. Isaiah 63:7

A lot of Christians are willing to talk about the God, but not always in the best way. Many are very quick to point out sins in the lives of non-believers and condemn them for the way they are living. All the commands of God are quickly remembered and brought to the attention of those who do not even follow Him.

The ones who speak this way feel as though they must be quick to point out the sin, so that they the person will know that they need God in his life. One of the problems with talking this way is that it does not show the kindness of God very well.

God does not just show up into a person’s life and point out all of his sins. He shows up into the person’s life to show love and kindness. As the person sees and feels God’s love and kindness, he is drawn towards God. God’s love and kindness causes a desire in a person for more. It helps the person realize that what he has is not working and really does not fulfill his life.

If you look at your own life, you should be able to see the many ways God was kind to you over the years.

How many times has God forgiven you when you sinned?

How many times has God shown you love instead of beating you down?

These are the things you should be talking about to non-believers. Point them to the many ways God is kind and loving. As you do this, God’s love and kindness will draw them towards Him.

Who wants to start following some dictator who is just out to destroy and kill because of something done wrong? No one.

As you go through your day think about all the kindnesses God has shown you. Now share it with someone else. Share it with other believers and share it with non-believers. It is a great testimony that will draw many to Jesus.

I pray today that you will see the kindness God has given you; that you will show God’s kindness and love to others; that you will praise God for His kindness; and that His kindness and love will shine in this world through you.