Most of us are familiar with the Fruit of the Spirit such as kindness, but can we explain how these fruits are born in the life of a believer? What do each of these fruits look like in real life? How can we promote their growth and flourishing in our lives? Let’s explore the work of the Spirit in our lives and how he produces these fruits in us. We are known by our fruit, so let’s begin by examining our lives.
My son looked at me with sadness in his eyes, “I just wanted to be funny….” I sighed at his plight. Instead of being the “funny” one at school, he often finds himself laughed at (not with), and it hurts my mom-heart to see him upset. Understanding his deep need for recognition and approval I told him, “Son, you can be good at other things. In fact, you are one of the kindest people I know. Just be kind and see what happens.”
As I talked to him through the rearview mirror in the car, I saw him smile. God has designed him to be one of the best examples of being kind I know. Truly he cares for everyone – no matter the cliques. If my son has something, he gives it away. If someone is upset, he is compassionate. There is a tender heart inside this little boy. At the end of the day, they will remember his kindness, not his silly shenanigans. More importantly, his kindness is a reminder of the loving kindness of our Heavenly Father.
In Psalm 33:22 it says, “Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee” (KJV). The word for “mercy” can also be translated “kindness.” The Hebrew word is: checed, which means his “covenant-keeping love.” It is a love and kindness based on his covenant, or his promises, to us – not based on anything we deserve. The very love that drives him to keep his promises is the love in which he shows his kindness to us.
The kindness of God is far reaching and long lasting, Isaiah 54:8 says it is “everlasting.” The comfort this truth offers is immeasurable. Do we believe God loves us? Yes. But do we believe he is kind? Loving a person means we want them to be the best they can be. Being kind is how we reveal our love for one another.
Being kind implies action. Out of love, God moves toward us with kindness. When we study Scripture, we see God’s kindness is always connected to his actions. God came to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God set up the great rescue plan to save the entire world from sin. Jesus came as a man to die on the cross for our sin.
We can still see how God is kind today. Over and over again, God demonstrates his kindness to us through the circumstances he allows in our lives. When my daughter’s diagnosis is still unknown, God is still kind, because according to Romans 8:28, he is working everything – even the hard things – for our good. If we do not see the good, it doesn’t mean God has left us. The promises of Scripture are true. Let’s believe with our heads what our hearts have forgotten.
God’s kindness, the everlasting, covenant-keeping love he bestows on us, is the fuel for our own kindness to others. God does not ask us to do or be something he is not. Our kindness matters because we are God’s lights here on earth, made in his image. How will a world living in darkness see the light of God’s covenant-keeping love and everlasting kindness if we hide it away? Let’s be people bearing the fruit of kindness if for no other reason than it was first bestowed on us.
Galatians 5:22 says kindness is a fruit we are to cultivate and grow in our lives. Kindness can’t just happen to us; we must seek after it and trust the Spirit’s empowerment. If we are to develop this fruit in our lives, we must look for ways to show it.
- Is there a sick neighbor or church member you can make a meal for?
- Does a college student need a small note of encouragement?
- Do you have a friend struggling to find God in her season of life right now?
- How does your family need to see God’s kindness today?
As we strive to develop the fruit of kindness, we must open our eyes to a world in need of God’s love. The best thing about being kind is we don’t have to wait until the feelings come; we can choose to be kind even when our hearts fail to “feel” it. Being kind is a choice and action not dependent on our feelings.
My son would like to be known and seen (and probably remembered) by his classmates. Instead of them remembering his silly antics, they will remember his kindness. The time he held the door open for them or the time he offered a hand to an enemy on the playground. The acts of being kind we show to others will far outlast anything we try to build.
We can change people’s lives with the simple fruit of kindness. “Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor” (Prov. 21:21, ESV). Do you want to make a difference in the world? Do you long to leave a mark long after you have gone from this earth? Be kind.
This article originally appeared here.