The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against these things there is no law. (Galatians 5: 22-23)
How did it go being patient all day? I know the weather and traffic are out of our control, but I’m guessing the cold commute has been trying many people’s patience lately, but perhaps for a day you were able to handle it a bit better? Even if “patient day” didn’t go so well, have you noticed a difference in yourself since you’ve been living out the fruit of the spirit all week? I hope so.
Friday is Day 5 – KINDNESS
The idea of being kind (showing kindness to others) is hopefully not a new concept to anyone. But have you ever stopped to think about how much it means to other people when you show them kindness? What does it mean to you when someone is kind to you? It feels good, right?
Paul, from the New Testament, went through all sorts of crazy times during his life. He was often treated unfairly because of his faith (he was beaten and put in prison, among other terrible things), and as a result he greatly appreciated it when people showed him kindness. There’s a story in the book of Acts about when he was on a boat as a prisoner and they were shipwrecked. When they washed up on shore they were treated with unexpected kindness.
Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. (Acts 28: 1-3)
How can you be an example of unexpected kindness to people around you today? Be thinking of ways you can be kind to someone else in ways that are simple, subtle or perhaps even unexpected.
Here’s a verse of encouragement for you.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3: 12-13)
Dear God, thank you for your eternal and everlasting kindness. Help us show kindness to others in not only expected ways, but also through unexpected and surprising expressions of your loving kindness. Amen.