Friday, September 16, 2011

Set an Example in Life: Kindness

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

The KJV uses the word “gentleness”.

The Greek word translated gentleness is “chrestotes” which means moral goodness, integrity, benignity, kindness.

I didn’t not know what benign meant so I looked that up and then kept going with a few more definitions.

Benign- having a kindly disposition; gracious.
Gracious- pleasantly kind
Kind- of a good or benevolent nature or disposition
Benevolent- 1.) characterized by or expressing goodwill or kindly feelings. 2.) Desiring to help others; charitable
Integrity- adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

The same word is used in Romans 2:4- “The goodness of God leads to repentance.”

Wow! The goodness of God leads to repentance and we are told that one of the fruits of the Spirit is that same kind of goodness! Living a life of goodness will point others toward God.

After Paul and the crew had gone through the shipwreck and ended up on shore it says that “The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.” (Acts 28:2)

We are also told to be kind to the needy and poor. When we give to the needy and poor it has to be out of nothing other than kindness because we can expect nothing back. They won’t be paying us back. They won’t be returning any favors. We help simply because we are have cultivated kindness in our hearts.

Proverbs 14:21
He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.

Proverbs 14:31
He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

Proverbs 19:17
He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done.

Kindness is also a command.

Ephesians 4:32
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

1 Thessalonians 5:15
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and everyone else.

I like how that ends with “Oh… and be kind to everyone else as well!” It leaves no one out. Be kind.

Kindness… a desire to help others… just because we can.

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