Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness [sweetness] in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.”
Today we are talking about kindness in action. The Passion Translation version notes that the Aramaic word used for kindness there, is the word for sweetness. How incredible is that? As children of God we are called to be sweet and kind natured. That is so how I see Papa God. He is kind and He is sweet. He is gentle.
I don’t know if many of you have watched the show, The Chosen, if not you need to go watch it, it is so good. It’s based on the life of Jesus as depicted in the Bible. The reason why I mention the show is that it captures the kindness of Jesus. It’s hard to put into words just how kind, sensitive, sweet and gentle God is. It’s something that we all need to experience so we can truly understand what fruit the Holy Spirit is developing in us.
When people think about you, do they think about how kind and sweet you are or do a whole lot of other not so nice words come up? We all need to work on developing this fruit in our lives. Being kind with our words and being kind in our actions. But whatever we do externally starts in our hearts. God cares about our hearts and not just our outward actions. So maybe its time we pray that God helps us to be gentle at heart. Gentle and kind in our thoughts towards others. As we learn to do this, we will find that it will translate into actions.
In the world we live in, one has to be “tough and strong”. There is nothing wrong with being strong, God is so strong and mighty, yet He has the capacity to be kind and gentle. Isaiah 42:2-3 (also see Matthew 12:20) says this about Jesus, “He will be gentle and will not quarrel with others in public. He will not exalt his own voice. He would never crush a broken heart nor disregard the weak and vulnerable. He will make sure justice comes to those who are wronged.” This is who our God is. He is gentle. He does not quarrel with others in public. He would never crush a broken heart. I think we need to pause right there. Jesus will never crush a broken heart or look at us in our brokenness and turn away. He reaches out to the broken in kindness and in love, the Bible is full of examples of this. Jesus does not disregard the weak and vulnerable. He is kind to all.
Likewise, we need to learn to be kind to all people in all walks of life. You can’t be kind and sweet to your boss because you think they will give you a promotion and be mean to your other co-workers or those who work under you. Our kindness need not change based on who we are talking to. We need to be consistent in it all the time. This is why we need the Holy Spirit. We may not always feel like being kind. We can’t change from moment to moment or from person to person. We need to be consistent.
So, how do we become consistently kind? By allowing the Holy Spirit to develop the fruit of kindness in our hearts. We may need to go out of our way to do a few things for people. We will definitely have to lay aside our prejudices and biases. We live in a society where people are sometimes kinder to animals than they are to other human beings. That is not right. Every single human being was created in God’s image. Jesus died for them as much as He died for you, so be kind. Whenever in doubt, ask yourself, WWJD? What would Jesus do?
Love and blessings,