fruit of the Spirit - kindness
‘Kind words are easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.’ Mother Teresa.
I love this quote that is attributed to Mother Teresa. When I think of kindness, the situations that come to my mind are the times in which I have experienced kindness from others. I’m sure we have all acted in a kind way but we don‘t tend to remember those, it’s the small things that others do when they show kindness to us that stick with us. The moments when we appreciate others’ kindness. Take a minute and think about the last time someone showed you kindness.
When I was writing this blog the time that popped into my head was from only a few days ago. Just like as for so many of us, our house has been a little stressful recently. Just as we were getting used to how things had changed, the constantly adapting situation has meant more and more changes. I was catching up with a friend the other day and she said something that was so kind and thoughtful. For her, it may have only been 5 or 6 words but to me when I heard those words, I felt touched. I was moved by what she said and the heart with which she said it, she showed me kindness and at a time when I felt overwhelmed she helped me to refocus and feel a little better.
God is the perfect example of kindness. His kindness to us can be shown in no better way than the sacrifice of His Son for us. Jesus and the promise of forgiveness and eternal life in Him is the ultimate expression of God’s mercy, compassion and love.
In Titus 3:4-5 it says, ‘But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.’
We didn’t and we can’t earn God’s kindness, He freely gave it to us.
Paul lists kindness as one of the fruit of the Spirit but this isn’t the only time kindness is mentioned in the Bible.
Colossians 3:12 reminds us that, ‘Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.’
As God’s people here in earth we are to be His hands and feet, we are called to be kind.
‘From a wise mind comes wise speech; the words of the wise are persuasive. Kind words are like honey-sweet to the soul and healthy for the body’.
Kind words do good, they can help to heal upset and broken hearts.
‘Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.’
We could go on and list so many more examples, this week why not open your Bible and see how many more examples you can find.
The question I have for us all today is – how do your words and actions show kindness to others?
As we said before God is the perfect example of kindness. There are many instances in the Bible when Jesus showed kindness to others….
Jesus fed the hungry (John 6:5-14)
Jesus reached out to others when no-one else would (Matthew 8:1-4 and Matthew 9:9-13)
Jesus showed compassion to the sick (Luke 8:40-48)
Jesus forgave those who hurt Him (Luke 22:47-52)
These are just a few examples of when Jesus showed kindness. If we are truly to love and follow Him, then surely we should also show kindness!
How can I show kindness?
It’s easy to be kind to those we love and like, but its more challenging to be kind to people we find a little more difficult to get along with. Kindness, no matter how big or small the action or word, makes a real difference, not only to you but to the person you are showing kindness to. Our kindness to someone cannot be based on their actions, or how well we get on with that person or how they have treated us in the past. We shouldn’t expect others to earn our kindness!
How much kindness we give others cannot be measured out in amounts, we can’t be really kind to our best friends and only a little bit kind to the person in school we had that argument with last week.
Luke 6:31 states clearly that, ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you.’
Just as we have been forgiven and shown kindness from God, we have a responsibility to show kindness to others.
This week my challenge to you is to make a concerted effort to be kind and show kindness. You could share a meal or cook for your family; help a friend with homework or coursework; stay with a friend while they are waiting on a bus or lift home; lend them something; drop them a text or note to show that you are thinking of them; smile and say hello to someone you don’t know….
I’m sure you will be able to think of lots of different ways to show kindness and we would love to hear your stories of how others have been kind to you! DM us on Instagram @girlsbrigadenorthernireland or PM on Facebook @GBNIGEMS.