Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fruit of the Spirit -- Kindness

Note:  The next post will be on Monday, April 20, 2015.
Chuckle: A sign at a Car Dealership: "The best way to get back on your feet - miss a car payment!"
Quote: “That best portion of a good man's life,— His little, nameless, unremembered acts Of kindness and of love.” --William Wordsworth
    ". . make every effort to add to your faith . . brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love" (2 Peter 1:5-7 NIV). "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Galatians 5:22 NIV).
"It takes a long time to fill a glass with drops of water. Even when the glass seems full, it can still take one, two, three, four, or five more additional drops. But if you will keep at it, there is at last that one drop that makes the glass overflow. The same applies to deeds of kindness. In a series of kindnesses there is at last one that makes the heart run over."
The Greek word translated "kindness" includes the basic sense of usefulness. A kind person is a helpful person. The Scriptures emphasize that kindness, like love, is shown by actions. God expressed His kindness by sending Christ to pay the penalty for our sins. "In order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:7 NIV).
Christian kindness is rooted in our experience of salvation. Paul stressed that when we put off our old nature in becoming Christians, we put on kindness as part of our new nature in Christ. As believers we demonstrate helpful kindness to others because we have experienced God's kindness to us. "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience" (Colossians 3:12 NIV).
In our American culture, a common saying is: "It's a jungle out there! Do unto others before they do unto you." Cheating, deception, clever computer crimes, a strong culture of gangs, and the mob and organized crime all manifest violent intolerance of kindness. As a matter of fact, in many circles, kindness is considered a weakness. However, as Christians, Christ gives us the ability and the motivation to be kind to everyone. That's why kindness is an important fruit of the Spirit.
But, remember that the type of kindness Paul is talking about is a supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Sure, non-Christians can be kind, but, the kindness empowered by the Spirit will bear supernatural results in the lives of people for the kingdom of our Lord. "One of the most difficult things to give away is kindness, for it is usually returned to you."
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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