Saturday, May 31, 2014

Fruit of the Spirit-Kindness

“Instead, be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ.” Ephesians 4:32
I think kindness is love in action. 1 John 3:18 says, ‘love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.’  When you are kind to others, you put their needs before your own. You sacrifice yourself and your plans to do what the other person needs. It’s not always easy for me to do this, but thankfully I don’t have to do it all on my own! Through ‘fellowship with the Spirit’ we ‘have kindness and compassion for one another.’ (Phil. 2:1) We should be kind to others, even when they don’t deserve it. We should also return kind words for harsh ones and never let our attitudes mirror the attitudes of this world (1 Cor. 4:13; Rom. 12:2)
Through our kindness to others, we show we are ‘God’s servants.’ (2 Cor. 6:6) In telling the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), Jesus gave us another example to look at for kindness, the first one being Him coming to die for us, even though we didn’t deserve it! This man, who was looked down upon by the very man he helped, went out of his way, used his own animal, belongings, and money to care for someone he didn’t know. Kindness is going the extra mile to care for someone in need, showing God’s love for them through our deeds (Matt. 5:42; 7:12). Jesus quotes Hosea 6:6 twice in Matthew; once in 9:13 and again in 12:7, showing kindness to be a quality God desires for His children to show. God desires us to be kind, not to try and make ourselves holy.
When we are kind, we should speak life into other’s lives and build them up with our words, not tear them down or gossip about them (Eph. 4:29). We must be honest, but never rude, short-tempered, or uncaring. Galatians 6:1 says, ‘if someone is caught in any kind of wrongdoing, those of you who are spiritual should set him right; but you must do it in a gentle way. And keep an eye on yourselves, so that you will not be tempted, too.’ We should always take care not to force change on someone when we believe they are doing wrong. We must pray for them and let the Holy Spirit convict them. We don’t want to forget the log in our own eye and exam the speck in someone else’s (Matt. 7:3-5)!
‘To conclude: you must all have the same attitude and the same feelings; love one another, and be kind and humble with one another.’ 1 Peter 3:8

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