by Brandy Webb
The next fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5:22, is mentioned in the KJV as gentleness, and most other versions say kindness. I believe everyone of us have been the receiver of kindness/gentleness, and it brightens our days.
How great is it when you are sitting in a parking lot trying to get out onto the street that is packed with cars, and someone waves you in to pull out in front of them. Or, how about the times that you are entering a place and someone takes the time to hold the door open for you. Or, the times when you just can’t seem to see anything bright that day, and a perfect stranger smiles at you and offers a kind word to you.
Acts of kindness are the bright lights in our day that seem to push the darkness away for a while. They don’t have to be anything major either. It could just be turning off the cell phone when we are in a conversation. Or better yet, just being nice to people is an act of kindness.
Since we know how great it feels when we are on the receiving end, just think how great you will feel when you are the one on the giving end. Those times that you are just too tired to do anything, but a friend calls up asking for some help, smile, and see it as a moment to show your fruit of kindness. The times when someone is grieving show him or her gentleness to help comfort him or her. Take time to smile at people. Speak kindly to people and about people.
Also, take the time to help each other. It is easy to assist at places where we go often like services or a friend’s house or at your family’s place, but pay attention to around you. Sometimes chances to show kindness can come unexpectedly. I believe that if we work hard at growing this fruit we will feel better on the inside, and our environments will brighten.
Now, some may think that this whole kindness thing is a new concept taught in the New Testament. It is not. One of my favorites is found in Leviticus, “Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am Yahweh” (Lev 19:18 HCSB)
Here is another that teaches sharing, which is an act of kindness, “When you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to reap to the very edge of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You must not strip your vineyard bare or gather its fallen grapes. Leave them for the poor and the foreign resident; I am Yahweh your God,” (Lev 19:9-10 HCSB).
We all know that God shows many acts of kindness to His people in the stories in the Bible, and we also know the ultimate act of kindness that His Son did for us. So, maybe the next time you may think someone doesn’t deserve you to be kind to them, think about whether or not you deserve kindness yourself. Kindness shouldn’t be deserved, it should be freely given. It will brighten the receiver’s day and bring comfort to the giver. But, if the receiver doesn’t care, oh well, their loss. You still win. Let your fruit shine.