Kindness – Fruit of the Spirit
If we compare different translations of the Bible we may have, we find this is translated either ‘kindness’ or ‘goodness’. Which is it? It means something like ‘good kindness’ and if we look at the context of other uses of the word it becomes clear that kindness is probably the best interpretation here for modern English.
People in the world generally like to think that they are kind people, and this gives them some sort of moral standing. They help old ladies up escalators, and other similar things. Surely God (if he is there) must be more pleased with them than otherwise?
Yet there is no-one who does kindness – Rom 3v12 – the word translated there as ‘good’ is actually the same root as the word we are looking at here.
So what is an example of kindness?
Again, God is our example
Luke 6v35 says he is ‘kind to the unthankful and evil’. This isn’t what the world does is it? Do we do it? Or do we say ‘Well that’s the last time I’m doing that for him then!’
This kindness is something that we have already experienced ourselves in God’s grace • 1 Peter 2v3,9,10
- Romans 2v4
God’s grace and mercy is the greatest example of kindness
Being kind to those who don’t ‘deserve it’
Read through those examples in Luke 6 to see what this kindness means
- It’s linked to loving our enemies (v27)
- It’s linked to mercy (v36)
- It’s linked to forgiveness (Eph 4v32)
Obviously we should be kind not just to our enemies! But this is where
- It is hard work!
- It distinguishes us from the world (v32)
- It makes us like God
A commandment with a promise
a) A great reward.
Don’t look to get anything in return – but we will! God gives rewards that last.
b) You will be sons of the Most High
Not in the sense that our works save us, as our unbelieving friends we considered at the start think – we can’t do it.
But this is what shows that we are his children – if we truly are then we will be kind, as he is. Sons take after their fathers. Do we take after God?