The Fruit of the Spirit is Kindness or Kinder and Gentler Christians
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Mamie Adams always went to a certain branch post office in her town because the postal employees there were always friendly. One day, she went there to buy stamps just before Christmas and the lines were very long. Someone told her that there was no need to wait in line…because there was a stamp machine in the lobby. “I know,” said Mamie, ’but the machine won’t ask me about my arthritis.”
A beautiful woman married a very ugly man…and one day, a friend asked her how someone so beautiful could marry someone so…not beautiful. She replied, “He never once has said anything to hurt my feelings. “Kindness makes a person attractive.
In the late 80’s, one of the candidates for president of our country promised to make this a “kinder and gentler nation”. When you do a search for the words, “kinder and gentler” on the internet. You’ll find the different ways in which those words are used. At RunnersWorld.com, there was an article by Hal Higdon on a “kinder and gentler race”…which spoke that since the marathon race, 26.2 miles can be so brutal…why not run the 1/2 marathon? At 13.1 miles, it’s a “kinder and gentler race”.
Computer users talk about the need for error messages on the computer to be “kinder and gentler”.
And then there’s an article about the need for kinder and gentler dams. It seems that these big hydro-electric dams have this big steel spinning turbines in them…and that those turbines can be kind of hard on fish…so they design these “fish ladders” for spawning fish to swim upstream and avoid those dangerous turbines. Why this sudden interest in things being “kinder and gentler”?
The reason that people are looking to find “kinder and gentler”…is because, by and large…there is a great lack of kindness.
And in fact…There is also a need for “kinder and gentler Christians”. You would think that could just go without saying. But haven’t you been around some so-called Christians who were rude, abrupt, discourteous, hurtful…and uncaring about the feelings of others.
Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit…When the Holy Spirit resides in our hearts…then kindness is a fruit that grows…and is produced in the life of the Christian.
- Joe, is a professional truck driver…he drives through Chicago…Indianapolis…and along the major highways in the Midwest…And he has seen it all!! People who, under normal circumstances…would never even raise their voices…but they get behind the wheel of a car…and suddenly they turn into Attila the Hun…driving like maniacs…speeding up…cutting people off…showing people their middle finger…as if that somehow provides the proper instruction for whatever driving mistake they made…
- Kindness in Scripture appears 65 times in the Bible. I want to focus on 2 of those…Ephesians 2:4-10…and Colossians 3:12
- Read Ephesians 2:4-10
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
- I want to draw your attention to kindness
so that God “might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus ” Eph 2:7 (NIV)
God’s kindness to us is made evident in the life of Jesus Christ… Christ’s life was a living example of kindness expressed…He took time to hold a child in His arms…when the disciples would have said, “sorry…the Master too busy teaching the adults…He doesn’t have time for the children”
He expressed kindness to a woman caught in the act of adultery…everyone else wanted to stone her. But not Jesus…He loved her and showed kindness to her.
Jesus expressed kindness to lepers…other people wouldn’t go near them…but Jesus actually reached out and touched them with His hands…ministering to them…healing them…showing them great kindness…
Even while Jesus was hanging on the cross…He said, “Father, forgive them, because they don’t realize what they are doing”…what a profound expression of kindness…even to those who were being cruel to Him..
One time, a religious leader asked Jesus how to receive eternal life…and Jesus asked him…”well, what do you think”? The man said, “love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself”. Jesus said, “good answer!!! do this and you will live”…but the man wasn’t satisfied with that answer…he wanted to find a loophole…so he asked Jesus, “and who is my neighbor”? So, Jesus told him the story of the Good Samaritan…how a man was horribly beaten…several religious people saw the man but passed on by without helping…the only one who stopped to help him was a Samaritan…Jesus then asked the man, “which of these people was a neighbor to the man who was beaten”? And the religious scholar replied, “the one who treated him kindly”…Jesus said, “go, and do the same”
- And that brings us to our 2nd Scripture,
Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with …kindness” Col 3:12 (NIV)
- Kindness is love in action. Kindness is not just an attitude in our heart or in our mind…it has to get out…it has to be expressed…kindness held inside is no kindness at all…it has to be let out.
When the Holy Spirit awakens our hearts…then the FRUIT of the Spirit…will spring forth KINDNESS in our lives…
Colossians 3:12 says to “clothe yourselves with kindness”…When you first get up in the morning…before you put on your shirt or pants…before you put on your shoes or your coat…put on kindness!
There is a non-profit organization www.actsofkindness.org…that encourages people to perform “random acts of kindness”…One day, a man was hurrying to his car…because he was worried that the time had expired on his parking meter…as he approached it, he saw a slip of paper…his heart sunk, thinking he had gotten an expensive parking ticket…instead, it was a note that said, “this was a random act of kindness, pass it on”. Evidently someone had seen the meter was about to expire…so they slipped a quarter in the slot…and the owner of the car avoided a hefty parking ticket…Something so simple…only 25 cents, and yet, so meaningful to that man and not only that, but the person who helped him…I’m sure that he or she felt happy in knowing that they helped someone.
Remember Joe, the truckdriver? He tells the story of how on a certain 4 lane road in Muncie, Indiana…there was a huge line of traffic…and a car was wanting to turn left …and no one was stopping to let the car through…traffic was barely moving…so it wasn’t like it would slow them down any to pause for a moment and let that car cross…but no one would stop…until Joe got up there…he stopped…and finally, someone in the other lane stopped…and that car was finally able to turn left…the driver was obviously grateful and waved. It didn’t slow Joe down one bit. It made him feel good to know that he was able to help someone…something so small…letting someone turn…but yet, it made 2 people feel very good…
When we focus our attention upon Christ and His life, His ministry…His suffering…and His death…And as we look at His life…kindness is so evident in everything that He did…. And with Christ as our example…
and with the Holy Spirit providing the fruit of kindness in our hearts…may it be expressed by random acts of kindness…not just once…not just twice…but every day…let’s put on kindness at the start of every day…the world needs to see kinder and gentler Christians in action
A Pass it on Progect: This sermon by Rev Larry Brincefieldl is brought to you by Grace Lutheran Church. You can read more about it at Sermon Central.