Day 8

Kindness

from the The Fruit of the Spirit reading plan


Zechariah 7:9-12, 2 Samuel 4:4, 2 Samuel 9:1-11, Luke 6:34-36, Romans 2:1-11, 2 Corinthians 6:3-10, Titus 3:4-7

BY Abby Flynn

I grew up in the Midwest, but headed South after college in search of career opportunities and warmer weather. I eventually wound up in the Bible Belt, where I was swiftly initiated into the world of Southern charm. At first, I was shocked by how kind everyone was! But as the weeks and months in my new city went on, I realized not all of the “Bless your hearts,” were actual blessings. And most of the passing “We should get together sometime” farewells weren’t really future social invitations. It seemed that some Southern charm was actually just a cover-up for awkward situations. It was a way to seem like a nice person without ever actually having to do anything nice. Now granted, I still live in the South and have grown to love it. But I have to be watchful, even in my own life, of not mistaking being “nice” for genuine kindness.

In contrast, today’s reading reminds us of what real, Holy Spirit kindness looks like. And it’s about a whole lot more than just donating to charities and holding the door open for the person behind you. When we fully understand and begin to emulate real, Christ-like kindness, it will affect every aspect of our lives.

Titus 3 shows us that God’s love and kindness are not just genuine—they have a purpose: to lead us back to Him! (Titus 3:4–7). So when kindness is evident in our treatment of others, we, in turn, are pointing them toward God. Because “when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit” (vv.4–5).

As followers of Jesus, we’re called to show graciousness and mercy to everyone, even our enemies. Yes, that even means the people we disagree with on Facebook, and the ones who have nothing to offer us in return (Luke 6:34–35). You see, kindness is at the heart of the gospel. We are all sinners and imperfect people who have been radically forgiven. There is nothing we could do to earn the love and mercy of the Lord, and yet He gives it to us freely. That’s kindness that we cannot begin to understand.

So as Christians, what does the Spirit producing kindness in us look like in everyday life? Maybe it’s the Lord making you a light in the world, offering hope to your coworkers or family. Or perhaps, it’s practicing graciousness in the middle of a difficult situation. Kindness might look like extending mercy to someone who has hurt you, whether they deserve it or not. Our kindness will play a huge part in our testimony, if only we will allow God to use it. But make no mistake, however kindness is exemplified in our lives, it is grown and cultivated by the Holy Spirit, a mark of His own kindness toward us.

Lord, open our eyes to see others as you see them: fellow image-bearers of our Creator. Make us instruments of your kindness and reflections of your mercy, even now.

Post Comments (45)

45 thoughts on "Kindness"

  1. Candace Moenter says:

    ❤️

  2. Bru Soto says:

    Lord help me to forgive freely those who hurt me. Liberally pour out your holt spirit in my life so that my heart can be changed. Perfect kindness in my life so that I can lead others including my children and spouse to yiu

  3. Lindsey Cosper says:

    I have been very unkind to my husband. Very. Out of hurt and anger of his addictions. It’s been very hard to love him the way I should because of it. But I realize and know I’m not making it any better and I’m certainly not turning him to God with how I treat him. Please God help me to be the wife he deserves to help him through this. He deserves the grace and forgiveness from me. We are all so undeserving yet you still give it to us God. Please help me love like you. To be kind like you and to be forgiving like you. My husband is truly a good man and a good provider and I’m no better than he is with the way I’ve treated him. Please God forgive me! Please God help me do better!!

  4. Rebecca Smith says:

    This also hit me as it relates to my kids, and especially my step daughters. I often feel unappreciated and disrespected by them which makes it really hard to show love and kindness. This was a reminder to lean on the Holy Spirit to do just that- show love and kindness even when they don’t deserve it, so that I can reflect Christ to them. Ultimately, that is my most important role as a parent and step parent- to point my children to Christ.

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