Are We His Kind of People?
1 Thessalonians 5:15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
Today we look at the fruit of kindness. This fruit looks like an easy one, doesn’t it? There are many opportunities in each day to show true kindness to another person, even to strangers whom we come across. We can open a door for someone, yield to them to pass a narrow space before us, or maybe just give a warm smile to someone that appears to be having a rough day. But like the other portions of fruit this one has more than one side.
It doesn’t have to be hard to show kindness but sometimes it is. In our Bible passage this morning we see an example of being kind when it isn’t the easy thing. Joseph’s brothers had treated him horribly for years and ended up selling him as a slave. It would be hard to be kind to family like that, wouldn’t it? And yet Joseph chose the high road and went beyond showing them false kindness, which would have been easy to do for the short time they had to be in his presence. In fact he may not have had to choose to see them at all since he could have designated a person under him to take care of them allowing him to avoid them completely. But Joseph showed genuine kindness and invited them to dine with him.
Kindness, to be truly effective, needs to be genuine. Sure it is easy to hold a door for someone but unless it is done with a smile the gesture falls a little flat. A smile that isn’t genuine can come across as sarcastic. True kindness brings joy and peace to both parties.
True kindness takes making an intentional choice to think of others instead of yourself. Kindness and selfishness cannot coexist. When we make the decision to show kindness to someone and follow it with the act of kindness we are taking two steps away from ourselves. Living out a life of kindness shows that Someone else is our main focus and that we are truly His children. Only a person who loves God wholeheartedly can show genuine kindness continually.
The fact that kindness is listed as a Fruit of the Spirit shows that it is His working in our lives as we surrender to His control that results in kindness. We worship Him in surrender when we show kindness to all we meet.
Making It Personal
When was a time that someone showed you unmerited kindness? Have you ever shown kindness to someone that you didn’t want to show it to? What was the result of showing kindness to that person?
Making it Personal Kids
What is a way you have been shown kindness? Have you ever shown kindness to someone? What is a way you can show kindness to someone today?
Father, we are like Joseph’s brothers, we have wronged You and don’t deserve Your kindness. We thank You for the kindness You show us daily. Help us show it and You to others. In Jesus’ name, amen.