But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: … kindness… (Galatians 5:22)
If you would do a survey out on the street and ask the average person to describe how they think a Christian should act, I am sure that much of what you would hear could be summarized with word ‘kindness.’ Though we rarely ever hear a message on kindness, it is perhaps the one characteristic that best symbolizes what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. To claim to be a Christian, yet fail to be kind, almost seems contradictory.
There are two ways a Christian may bear the Spirit’s fruit of kindness:
First of all, by their disposition. To bear the Spirit’s fruit of kindness means to be someone who is mild and gentle. Speaking of Himself, Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy (kind) to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
The word kindness has also another side to it. It can also mean to ‘furnish what is needed’ or to ‘be benevolent.’ One of the best illustrations of such kindness can be seen in the life of David. In
2 Samuel 9:3 David asks, “Is anyone still alive from Saul’s family? If so, I want to show God’s kindness to them.” Even though Saul had mistreated David, David still wanted to show him and his family the kindness of God. When the Spirit bears the fruit of kindness in a believer’s life, He causes them to not only be pleasant in their disposition, but also caring in their actions towards others.
As I have studied these various characteristics of the Spirit’s fruit, I am reminded of how much I need to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. I desire to experience and to exhibit more love, joy, peace, patience and kindness. That will only be possible if I am under His control and not the control of my emotions.