Sermons

Summary: Jesus exhibited kindness by His life...likewise, Christians need to exhibit kindness in our lives as well.

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Sunday Evening; February 29, 2004

Title: The Fruit of the Spirit is Kindness

Or, A Kinder and Gentler Christian

Read Text: Galatians 5:22-23

Introduction

1. 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."

2. 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.

3. In the late 80’s, one of the candidates for president of our country

promised to make this a "kinder and gentler nation".

And, as I thought about that, in preparation for this sermon...

I did a search for the words, "kinder and gentler" on the internet.

It was pretty amazing the different contexts that those words were used in.

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, its a "kinder and gentler race".

I found computer users talking about the need for error messages on the computer to be "kinder and gentler".

I found 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.

I found a report that Ohio is trying to run "kinder and gentler boot camps"...

these camps serve as an alternative to prison for people who have been convicted of a crime...

they found that the hard edged military...in-your-face drill sargeant might be too much...

so, they were going to try a "kinder and gentler" approach.

I read about the need for a kinder and gentler IRS...

I even found a recipe for "Larry’s Kinder and Gentler Chili"...

I also read about someone being a "kinder and gentler terrorist"...

can you believe that?

4. Why this sudden interest in things being "kinder and gentler"?

I haven’t done any scientific investigations...

but I’m fairly certain that 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...although I didn’t find a reference to this in my studies...

There is a need for "kinder and gentler Christians".

You would think that could just go without saying...

but I’ve 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...

If we call ourselves Christians...

and the Holy Spirit resides in our hearts...

then kindness is a fruit that grows...


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