22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the self with its passions and its desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let’s follow the Spirit. 26 Let’s not become arrogant, make each other angry, or be jealous of each other.
Think about a time when you were on the receiving end of when someone was kind to you. I’ll bet a memory of that kind act immediately sprang into your mind. Maybe you were sick, and someone visited you or brought you food or maybe someone was present for you at a time of difficulty or grief. Maybe the person was a stranger, who assisted you in a moment of need, and you never saw them again.
A single act of kindness touches us in a way that profoundly affects us because it is so unexpected and selfless. We remember when others are kind to us, because of how it makes us feel. When we are kind to others, in that moment, we change their world for the better. And in being kind to others, kindness changes us.
Loving Kindness. God is the source from which all loving kindness is poured into us. As God’s children we show loving kindness to others, including our enemies. We’re human, we aren’t able to show kindness all the time, and we don’t always want to be kind to those with whom we disagree. That’s why Paul, in this letter, tells us we must “live by and follow the Spirit,” to be conscious of our thoughts and behavior as disciples of Christ.
Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. It is evidence that God has enabled us, through the Spirit, to treat others with kindness by our thoughts and actions. The more we show loving kindness the more like Jesus we will become. Kindness requires that we are selfless, that we act unconditionally and that we don’t expect anything in return. To be kind, means we’re nonjudgmental, that we don’t decide if the person deserves our time and attention before we decide to act. When we are kind, we show God’s love to others, through us.
by Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Living and following in the Spirit is living into the promises of God’s Kin-dom and the radical grace and loving kindness God offers to each of us. Through the Spirit we are transformed to be the loving kindness of God to all we meet. Mother Teresa said, “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
Who can we be kind to today? How are you being “the living expression of God’s kindness?”
Prayer: Holy Spirit, it is hard to be kind, transform us to be the living expression of God’s kindness to all we meet. Amen.