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Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness

Mark Twain once said, “Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Kindness is powerful. It has the power to lift up the downtrodden and the power to humble the arrogant. Kindness is what brings people together. And, do you know what the world could use a little more of right now? Kindness.

Kindness is defined as the “quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate” (Google). In the scriptures, kindness is a command. Paul writes in Eph. 4:32 to “be kind to one another.” “Be kind” is a present imperative, which means the action is to be done now and continued. It is not a one-and-done responsibility or a one-time act. It is a way of life.

Here are three virtues of kindness:

God defines true kindness: Kindness is more than just something God does; it is who He is. Kindness is so deeply woven in the character of God, and it’s expressed by nature (Ps. 85:12), the revelation of His will (Ps. 119:68), His forbearance (Rom. 2:4), and salvation (Titus 3:3-7).

True kindness must be shown to all, even when it’s not deserved: While it’s easy to show kindness toward our family, friends, and neighbors, it’s not always easy to show kindness to those who are difficult. But God showed us the kindness of His Son, not while we were His friends, but while we were His enemies (Rom. 5:8-10). God demonstrated His love to even the despicable, the wicked, and the ungrateful. So must we.

True kindness is a characteristic of Godly love: Love is kind (I Cor. 13:4). Agape love is self-sacrificial, and kindness — at its core — is selfless. Kindness is inherently active and outwardly focused. You can’t love someone or something and contain it. You love someone by doing kind things for them — prayers, cards, acts of service, encouraging words, hospitality.

In the end, kindness is good for us: “Those who are kind benefit themselves” (Prov. 11:17, NIV). Kindness helps us, builds us up, and is good for us spiritually.

Steven Matthews


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