The next characteristic of the Fruit of the Spirit comes in the form of kindness. This type of kindness the apostle Paul is talking about by it’s nature is spiritual, in the sense that it’s being filled with the Spirit of God. The intrinsic nature of kindness is being thoughtful toward others, lifting others up with encouragement, and doing actions that benefit another person.
We have heard the saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” I remember saying that to the kids at school who would tease me and call me names. The reality was, their words did hurt, they may not have hurt me physically, but emotionally they hurt. I can still remember some of the hurtful words I experienced on the playground.
The truth is, words matter. They have the ability to tear people down, or build people up. Words can be very powerful, and can leave lasting impressions.
When was the last time you experienced kindness? Maybe it was something as simple as a smile, a word of encouragement, or a thank you card in the mail. When was the last time you showed kindness?
At times we have all missed opportunities to show kindness. We have walked with our heads down, and our blinders on because we have a mission that can’t get interrupted, or we don’t want to get interrupted. But life is about interruptions. It’s about being in relationship with one another, and it’s about seeing the person next to us. We have the ability to slow down, take off our blinders, and see who is around us.
Proverbs 3:3 tells us, “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”
As the Spirit indwells us, so does kindness. But we have to be mindful of this kindness and cultivate it so it grows in our lives. Think of it daily, hold on to it, and let it make an imprint on our hearts so that the kindness others see and experience from us draws people closer to the person of Christ.