Summary: An examination of three scriptural truths about kindness illustrated with aspects of kindness from the life of Jesus and how we can demonstrate kindness.
The Book of Galatians is all about the beauty of God’s grace. And one way that God’s grace is displayed in our lives is through the Fruit of the Spirit. So, I’m calling this series, “Grace-fruit: Jesus Living in Me.” Here are the nine expressions of the fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Chances are you’ve heard the expression, “Kill ‘em with kindness.” The source that of that phrase comes from Shakespeare’s play, “The Taming of the Shrew.” In one scene the scheming Petruchio says of his wife, Kate: “This is a way to kill a wife with kindness; And thus I’ll curb her mad and headstrong humour.”
I don’t really like the phrase “Kill ‘em with kindness,” because whether you use anger or kindness, the goal is still to kill someone. Instead I’ve changed the phrase around. As we talk about the fruit of kindness I want to challenge you to “Kiss ‘em with Kindness.”
A man stopped at a highway diner for breakfast. A grumpy waitress came out and said, “What do you want?” He said, “Well, I’d like two eggs, and a few kind words.” She didn’t say anything; she just turned and left. In a few minutes she returned and slammed down a plate with two greasy eggs. He said, “What about my kind words?” She said, “Don’t eat them eggs.”
In August 1998 when George H. W. Bush accepted the Republican nomination for President, he said, “I want a kinder, gentler nation.” Five months later he was inaugurated as our 41st President. Do you recall what his first official act was as Chief Executive? He led us in prayer. May God give us more leaders who lead us in prayer.
It’s amazing that President Bush said that one of our greatest needs is to become a kinder, gentler nation. If it’s true of our nation, it’s also true of our churches, and our homes. We need a kinder, gentler culture.
Sometimes “good, religious people” can be as mean as a snake. I’ve had more than one server in a restaurant tell me the rudest folks are the church people who eat out for Sunday lunch—and they’re the worse tippers! I agree with the little girl who had spent all day with some of these “good, religious people.” During her bedtime prayer she prayed, “Dear God, please make all the bad people good; and make all the good people kind.”
My favorite definition of kindness is that it is “love with its work clothes on.” Patience and kindness appear together on our fruit list, and there’s a reason for that. Patience is passive. Remember, patience is the ability to NOT to blow your stack with difficult people and situations. But kindness is active. Kindness is the act of doing something that demonstrates love, especially to difficult people.