Kindness seems so simple. It’s a word that we quote all the time. “Be kind” or “demonstrate kindness.” It rolls off the tongue and maybe even out of the heart effortlessly. It sounds good. It sounds great. It sounds easy. But kindness is an attribute, a fruit of the spirit that is far too seldom seen.
Kindness is a characteristic that led God to provide salvation for a fallen people. His kindness leads us to repentance. His loving kindness paved way for an eternity with Him. We truly underestimate the magnitude of kindness.
Why is genuine kindness so difficult to master? I’m not talking about random acts of kindness because frankly, I believe those are easy. We walk by a homeless person and give money, or food and while that is a kind thing to do, far too often we add self to the equation. We walk away feeling as though we’ve demonstrated some great act of mercy. It becomes more about us as we walk away patting ourselves on the back.
I know it’s not always like that, many of us are compelled by the dull ache that pulls our hearts strings into service. And that’s how it should be. But if we are honest, in our minds we often do elevate ourselves.
The kindness I am referring to is brother-to-brother and sister-to-sister. Kindness that bears a torch shining so bright the lost sit-up and notice. Kindness that spills forth replicating the heart of Jesus.
Kindness that doesn’t return what is often deserved. Kindness that carries a tone of gentleness and calmness. Kindness that is patient. Kindness that is slow to frustration and even slower to anger. Kindness that doesn’t have to be first or make sure their way is thee way. Kindness that is other’s centered and not self-centered.
It’s a kind of kindness we all need to work toward and one we can’t achieve on our own. It’s a fruit of the Spirit, an attribute of Christ one that is not an innate quality. And while it does come more naturally for some, for most of us, it’s work.
Our inherent character revolves around self. We are naturally programmed to be more concerned for ourself than others. But if we’ve died to ourselves then we must posture ourselves for the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. We must shut our ear to the inward voice of self, and allow God to move us and shape us in a way that produces Holy fruit.
Being vulnerable to the Spirit means recognizing the truth of ourselves. We need to see some of the ugly unkind ways we operate and live, and then move away from that place. We’ve died to that person. We must step away from how we are programmed and step into those places where He can do His mighty work.
Kindness flows from a surrendered heart. Godly kindness transforms. Godly kindness reaches the lost. Godly kindness brings hope. Godly kindness heals. Godly kindness touches and restores hearts in a world that destroy. Godly kindness is about others just as Christ is about us.