Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness

I had no idea how difficult it would be to write about kindness, and I'm not really sure why.  There are a lot of scriptures, quotes and poems about kindness out there, but nothing has been inspiring me. So here I am, on the last day of Kindness week, with nothing to say.

One definition of kindness is the desire to do good to others; goodwill; charitableness. Do you know people who live like that? I sure do. A lot of them. I think most people, from every place, culture, religion, and nation, have the desire to be kind, to do good, to share, to be generous.  The problem is, we also have free will and a fallen nature.

Kindness seems to be wrapped up in a lot of different things. I don't think one can love without also being kind. Kindness is a choice, each and every moment - the choice to love rather than to lash out, to give rather than keep, to do good rather than bad (however that is defined), to be kind instead of cruel. And, as with all of the other fruits, we do have it in us to be kind to even those who are the most unkind. And this isn't just about doing kindness. It's about asking God to show us how to be kind, how to treat others, how to think kind thoughts. It's not about doing kind things, it's about having an attitude and thoughts that are kind, toward others and about others.  The world may think you are the kindest person ever, but if your heart and mind are not in agreement with your actions, you and God need to have a little talk.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. ~ Colossians 3:12

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. ~ Matthew 7:12

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