There is a popular saying: “Do random acts of kindness” throughout your day. The vast majority of people are kind. It’s part of human nature and doesn’t, in most cases, require much effort. It can be exhibited through conversations, deeds, giving, and simply being thoughtful of others.
The Bible has a lot to say about kindness to others and how God is kind toward us. Qualities linked to kindness are mentioned in Ephesians 4:32. “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other.” Psalm 103:8 takes it to a new level. “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness.” This word has a double emphasis. All of the qualities of kindness, as well as all of the qualities of love, combined, reveal God’s affection toward his children.
Kindness should be a willful choice. Colossians 3:12 says to “…put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” It stresses the importance of making kindness an intentional decision. God’s kindness to us was not, nor is not, a random act. In the Book of Ephesians the words “kind intention” are used twice in verses 1:5 and 1:9. God loves us with intention and purpose. He wants to “show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus”(2:7). The incredible truth to grasp is that God enables Christians “according to the riches of His grace to be strengthened with power through His Spirit…”
Kindness, along with all other fruits of the Spirit, is the result of a transformed temperament. It rises above the best kindness obtainable on the human level. It won’t be a deed just to make one feel good, but rather it is based upon compassion and love.
This Holy Spirit-powered kindness will be evident not only in acts of deeds and giving, but also in our conversations. Ephesians 4:29 says our speech should be “good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Kind words are like “honey, sweet to the soul and healthy to the body”(Proverbs 16:24). Proverbs 18:4 adds, “A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.” As Christians let’s seek to “put on” kindness like God has for us. That can only happen with the power of the Spirit bearing fruit in our lives. What intentional acts of kindness can you do toward those with whom you interact every day?
If you have been following my series on the fruits of the Spirit, you might recall that I suggested at the beginning to mentally or orally repeat the nine fruits in Galatians 5:22-23 each day. If you have been doing this, how has it helped you in your attitudes and actions toward others?