Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness

Please continue with us in our examination of those characteristics which Paul deems manifestations of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 with “kindness:”

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control; against such there is no law.

The word translated here as “kindness” (translated also as “goodness” in the KJV) is the Greek word chrestotes, defined by Thayer’s as:

1) moral goodness, integrity
2) benignity, kindness

This term is used to refer to the kindness of God toward men, especially to those of the faith (Romans 2:3-4, Romans 11:22, Ephesians 2:7, Titus 3:4) and as an attribute a Christian ought to have (Colossians 3:12).

Perhaps one of the greatest demonstrations of our hope and faith in Christ is by the performing of acts of kindness. An act of kindness is a demonstration of love and belief, not merely the profession thereof. We live in a time when there are more “professors” of religion but very few who will actually bear the burdens of Jesus Christ. Such a person is commended in James 1:25:

But he that looketh into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing.

Displaying a kind attitude and performing acts of kindness are not necessarily the easiest or most convenient duties of a Christian, but many times these acts and attitudes are more effective at bringing people to Christ than long evangelism campaigns. When we show kindness to others, we are merely the conduit for the kindness that God has shown to all men by giving us this world to live in and His Son so that we may have life in the hereafter. Since God has demonstrates such great kindness to us, ought we not show to our fellow man kindness also? Think on these things.


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