Fruit of the Spirit—Kindness
(Part five of a series on Galatians 5:22-23)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is…kindness…”
Galatians 5:22 (NKJV)
We have come to the fifth fruit of the Holy Spirit as listed by the Apostle Paul in the above scripture—the fruit of kindness. Like the previously listed fruits of love, joy, peace and patience, kindness is a quality that is precious in the lives of people today.
A simple definition of kindness is: being of gentle or benevolent nature; friendly in one’s conduct to another person…being considerate. We all enjoy kindness being directed toward us from other people but, like love, it requires some mental effort of the will, on our part, to show kindness to others. This is especially true when we have dealings with people who don’t particularly like us.
I am reminded of the once popular song by Glen Campbell, ‘Try a Little Kindness.’ Some of the lyrics are as follows:
If you see your brother standing by the road
With a heavy load, from the seed he’s sowed.
And if you see your sister falling by the way
Then stop and say, you’re going the wrong way.
You got to try a little kindness,
Yea show a little kindness,
Shine your light for everyone to see.
And if you try a little kindness
Then you’ll overlook the blindness
Of the narrow-minded people
On their narrow-minded streets.
Of course, the words of this song are not taken from the Bible, but the principle of showing kindness to others is definitely biblical. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:4 that, “Love suffers long and is kind.” He reminds us in Colossians 3:12 to “…put on tender mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.”
There are so many ways we can show kindness to others. For example, we can look out for a neighbour who may be lonely and desperate for someone to spend an hour of conversation with. A card or regular telephone call to an elderly friend or relative can be a great way of showing kindness. We must not, of course, neglect our spouses, children and siblings. Like charity, kindness begins at home. To neglect this vital area can lead to untold problems and frustrations that don’t easily go away!
Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, is our perfect example in displaying kindness and consideration. Wherever he went he showed kindness to people—and not least, the poor of the land. The Apostle Peter tells us that, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38) While suffering excruciating pain on the cross, he spoke with kindness to the repentant thief next to him by promising him that he would be with him (Jesus) in Paradise. He offers that same salvation to all of us today.
Let us return the kindness he has blessed us with by loving him with all our heart, and by extending kindness to all with whom we come in contact.
Thank you, heavenly Father, for the blessing of the fruit of your Holy Spirit and, in particular, this fruit of kindness. Please fill our hearts with this wonderful quality so that we can be a blessing to others. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by John Magowan
Grace Communion Lisburn
Ballymacbrennan School Hall
129A Saintfield Road
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