Summary: This is the fifth sermon in this series on the fruit of the Spirit. It deals with Kindness. 1. Be SENSITIVE 2. Be SUPPORTIVE 3. Be SYMPATHETIC 4. Be STRAIGHTFORWARD 5. Be SPONTANEOUS
Fruit of The Spirit – Kindness
We have been working our way through the virtues of the Fruit of the Spirit. Our focal verse for this series is from the book of Galatians where it says:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Gal 5:22-23 (NASB)
Today we are going to look at kindness.
Putting On A Little Kindness
Colossians 3:12-13 says:
“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” Col 3:12-13 (NASB)
Notice the words “put on”. That is what the Greek word literally means – “put on”. What Paul is saying here is that when we wake up in the morning we ought to get dressed spiritually and emotionally as well as physically. When we wake up in the morning and decide what to wear we should ask ourselves, “What kind of attitude am I going to put on today?” Paul says kindness is a choice. It is something we can choose to “put on” every day.
Kindness is “love in action” – a practical expression of love. It is visible and active – not just emotional.
But why should we be kind? After all – kindness is kind of risky. If we are nice to someone they might think, “Why is this person being so nice? What’s in it for him?” On the other hand if we are kind to people they might try to take advantage of us. So kindness is kind of risky.
Despite the risks we are to be kind for two reasons.
First, we are to be kind because God is kind to us. Romans 2:4 says:
“Do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” Rom 2:4 (NASB)
We should not think lightly of God’s kindness to us. He has shown us kindness – tolerance – patience in order that we may seek Him and come to Him. Therefore – we should be kind because God is kind to us.
The other reason we should be kind is that we want people to be kind to us. We want to be treated right. Jesus said: “
"In everything treat people the same way you want them to treat you…” Mat 7:12 (NASB)
Another way of saying it is:
"Do for others what you would want them to do for you.” (ERV)
If you are rude to other people they are going to be rude to you. But if you are kind, most people will want to respond the same way.
What does it mean to be a kind person, and how can we become kinder? Let me suggest five characteristics of a kind person.
FIVE WAYS TO BE KIND TO PEOPLE
1. Be SENSITIVE
First, kind people are sensitive to others. They are aware of the needs of those around them. So become aware of the needs of those around you. Tune in to them. Kindness always starts with sensitivity. Philippians 2:3-4 says:
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4 (NASB)
Kindness always starts with noticing what is going on in other people’s lives.
Folks here is a fact: Everyone you meet this week needs kindness.
The people you meet on the street need kindness – the person sitting next to you in the pew needs kindness. Everyone needs kindness. Kindness starts with sensitivity.
We find an example of sensitivity and kindness in the life of King David as recorded in 2 Samuel 9. David was crowned king of Israel and had led the Israelites in a series of military victories. The former King Saul had died. Saul and David had not been the best of friends – in fact Saul had tried to kill David on several occasions. Yet Jonathan – Saul’s son and David liked each other dearly. They were very good friends.
David eventually became king. Saul had died and Jonathan had died. Then David made an unusual request. He asked whether there was anyone left in Saul’s family to whom he could be kind. They found Saul’s grandson – Jonathan’s son – Mephibosheth was still alive. Mephibosheth however was crippled in both feet because of an accident when he was five years old.
So David sent for Mephibosheth. He probably thought, I am going to be killed because I am Saul’s grandson. But here is what happens: