It is May and as we continue the study of the Fruits of the Spirit we delve into kindness this month. I think it is a little ironic that it is also the month we celebrate Mothers Day. I think for the most part mothers and kindness goes together. I know someone of you might disagree, but for most people our mothers were kind people at least to us.
Kindness in the dictionary is described as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. I think if you ask most people they will tell you they consider themselves kind. Most people will tell you they are friendly and sometimes generous. Sometimes people see themselves as considerate other times not so much.
For the last few years off and on I have seen signs in yards that say, “kindness matters.” Do we really have to be reminded to be kind? Are we teaching our kids to be kind to one another? It has bothered me for the last week or two that kindness is a commodity that we sometimes are lacking. As I learned of the death of a young bride who two or three weeks after her marriage was gunned down because she was given a position apparently someone else thought they should have had. So, instead of being kind and considerate he gets angry and destroys multiple lives; his own and hers along with all the families involved. Where was kindness then?
About the same time we see two young men thinking it’s okay to take their anger out on each other and schedule a fight. Now I know it’s pretty normal for two boys to get in a fight. It happens all the time. You rough each other up, get your anger out, shake hands afterwards and walk away. Why would anyone consider it okay to bring a gun to a fight? Why would anyone think it’s okay to take another’s life? Where was kindness?
If we look around sometimes kindness is hard to see. It’s hard to be kind when you’ve lost your job and your world is falling down around you. It’s hard to be kind when they’ve just told you your days are numbered. Kindness is not something that just happens or is it?
I think when God tells us to take on the Fruit of the Spirit kindness he’s not talking about actions or emotions. I think he is talking more about a way of life. It’s not something we feel or do it’s how we live on a daily basis.
Last week I experienced an act of kindness. I was helping get ready for a benefit we were having for our organization. It was on a Thursday afternoon. Some young teenagers were among us. As I was introduced to them that morning I was told they were missing school with the school’s approval. One of the young ladies was having a birthday. For her birthday party she gathered friends who all wanted to participate in some charitable way. Instead of having a party and getting gifts this young lady decided to donate her time to help us both that day and into the evening. After being with her for sometime I could tell this was not an act or she wasn’t doing this out of emotion. She lived being kind and generous with her time.
Living in kindness like God wants us to is doing kind things without thinking about what we are going to get in return. Living an act of kindness is doing things without thinking what you are doing. Living a life of kindness is being considerate all the time and not just those times we pick and choose. Living a life of kindness is being kind to other motorists on the highway regardless of how we are treated. Being kind is opening doors, letting others go ahead of you, letting others have the parking space that just opened up, it’s about showing kindness like God shows to us every day.
God shows us kindness each day by blessing us with another day of life. God shows us kindness when he doesn’t give us what we deserve.
I love what Colossians 3:12 says, “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” As we get dressed each day we are to put on the armor of God and then we are to clothe ourselves with kindness. If everyone clothed themselves with kindness what would this world look like? What would your corner of the world look like?
One of my mom’s favorite sayings to me as a kid was, “Honey, just kill them with kindness.” I was taught from a young age to be kind. I am learning as an older kid to live and walk in kindness; even when I don’t feel like it.
We have had Radom Acts of Kindness days…it wouldn’t be random if we learned to live as kindness people.
As we study the Fruits of the Spirit I am beginning to realize these fruits of the Spirit is not emotions, acts, or anything else. It’s not something we do or don’t do. The Fruits of the Spirit is a new way to live your life.
I challenge you tomorrow morning as you dress follow the command in Colossians and dress yourself in kindness. Let’s get a new clothing trend started.
Dear Lord, I am saddened by the lack of kindness towards others, but then I see acts of kindness and I am hopeful. Teach us its a way of life not an emotion or a deed. Guide us as we begin to clothe ourselves in kindness. Help us to share this type of clothing with others. Amen