Day 6

Kindness

from the Fruit of the Spirit reading plan


Luke 6:35-36, Ephesians 4:25-32, Colossians 3:12-13

BY Hayley Morgan

These days we talk about random acts of kindness and “paying it forward” like we’re running some sort of karmic racket, doing good things as a way to score more points for the Nice Team. But kindness as a fruit of the Holy Spirit has less to do with the good deeds of our outer lives and more to do with the posture of our inner lives.

Biblical kindness is an outward fruit of the inward work of the Spirit. We are kind as a way of being more than a way of doing.

I have a friend who is always unnecessarily kind to me. She shows me more mercy than I can imagine. She believes the best of me and she hopes for more of Jesus in my life. She suffers through not-so-pleasant times in our friendship for the sake God’s glory and our good. Her kindness to me mirrors the kindness of Christ.

The Greek word for kindness used in Galatians 5 is chrēstotēs, which means “moral goodness” and “benignity.” Benignity means bringing a person no harm. Christ uses the root of this word chrēstos in Matthew 11:30, when He says His “yoke is easy”—meaning, it doesn’t needlessly burden.

We also know from Scripture that being kind is much more powerful than just being nice. Romans 2:4 tells us that God’s kindness leads us to repentance. In other words, kindness has the power to transform. It is not weak, it does not ignore, it does push things under the rug. Kindness can change our own lives and the lives of those we love. In Ephesians 4:32, we are commanded to be kind and compassionate to each other, forgiving others just as God has forgiven us. It is this forgiveness from God—and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us—that prompts our kindness to others. Think of our kindness as a sort of through-line for God’s goodness to us. We have the privilege of pouring out that kindness from the Holy Spirit to others! We get to mirror the kindness of Christ, kindness that leads to life-changing repentance.

The Christlike kindness my dear friend shows to me is not simple. It requires abiding in the Source, yielding to the Spirit, and submitting to the Heavenly Father. But, as a result of her obedience, I feel unconditionally accepted. I know, by God’s grace, she never means me harm or burden me with a mantle that isn’t mine to bear.

In a world where kindness is often used as a tool for getting ahead, it’s incredibly comforting to encounter those people who embody biblical kindness. Will we be those people today? The fruit of kindness is proof of the Holy Spirit’s good work in our hearts. It is powerful to change lives by pointing others to Jesus, the true Source of everything good.

What could be sweeter than that?

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Post Comments (99)

99 thoughts on "Kindness"

  1. Cindy C. says:

    “But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.” (Luke 6:35)
    “Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive.” (Colossians 3:13)

    “Being kind is much more powerful than being nice.” This stood out to me…kindness is complex, deep, meaningful. Being nice is simple, innocuous, on the surface. Kindness requires thought, feeling, understanding, stems from an internal motivation. I want to always be kind to others in a truly authentic expression of God’s grace and mercy.

  2. Danielle Talerico says:

    I am not forgiving as I should be; I can hold grudges and I judge others easily. I’m not proud of it. I easily let my emotions take the drivers wheel. I pray that JESUS can help me fix the condition of my heart ♥️

  3. Berenice Mendoza says:

    I needed to read this. I remember always wanting to be kind. My heart was kind. I wanted to love others and treat them kindly no matter what. That slowly started to go away when I started to be perceived as naive… I was being taken advantage of, underestimated, and I was an overall easy target to be made fun of. I got so tired of it, that instead of rising above it, I lost my softness and hardened my heart. I chose to stoop to their level and now I don’t even recognize myself. I want to embody biblical kindness again. This message reminded me to be gentle… soft. Loving. Kind. Thank you Jesus for placing this message in my life when You did.

  4. Victoria says:

    “No fresh water ever came from a poisoned well.” This simple sentence is a reminder of what Ephesians 4:29 teaches us…”let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths.”

    How often do I speak without kindness and love? If my words are to be an outward fruit of the inward work of the Spirit, I’ve got to be A LOT more intentional and constructive with my words!!!! I can be so incredibly harsh, especially when hurt! I truly struggle with this every single day!

  5. Julie says:

    Great challenge for me to BE a kind person rather than just trying to do kind things!! God, I need your Holy Spirit to help me! This isn’t easy!

    1. Elizabeth says:

      exactly Julie!! my struggle as well. doing nice things for people comes very easily to me! but BEING kind is a whole other story.

  6. Caroline says:

    Lord, You have shown me such kindness! Help me to do the same to others, and to fully understand the importance of being kind!

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