Fruit of the Spirit, Kindness - Weekly Devotional
This week's focus: Kindness
The virtue of kindness is rooted in Scripture, forged on sound Christian theology, and modeled over the centuries by followers of Jesus. Since the early church, disciples have walked the risky and sometimes dangerous road of kindness. Kindness is a radical way of living biblically. It’s a fruit of the Holy Spirit on Paul’s shortlist in Galatians 5. It’s not a duty or an act. It’s an imperative. It’s the natural outcome of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives.
We exhale kindness after we inhale what’s been breathed into us by the Spirit. Kindness radiates when we’re earnest about living the way of Christ, the way of the Spirit. Kindness displays the wonder of Christ’s love through us.
Never mistake kindness for niceness. Kindness is all over the Bible, plentiful in both Testaments. But you won’t find niceness in the Bible once—nor the word nice, for that matter. Niceness may be pleasant, but it lacks conviction. It has no soul. Niceness trims its sails to prevailing cultural winds and wanders aimlessly, standing for nothing and thereby falling for everything. Kindness is certainly not aggression, but it’s also not niceness. Niceness is cosmetic. It’s bland. Niceness is keeping an employee in the job, knowing he’s no longer the right fit, therefore, failing him and the company because you don’t have the courage to do the kind thing. Kindness calls you to tell him he’s not the person for the position and then dignifies him in the transition.
Kindness is a dimension of God’s grace through us. It’s civility grounded in gentleness and respect. At the same time, kindness is neither milquetoast nor weak. It is fierce and passionate. The God-authored spirit of kindness in us has the power to upend the enemy and season the world around us for the good. Kindness as Jesus lived it presents the highest hope for a renewal of Christian civility, a renewal needed now more than ever.
Micah 6:8 (ESV)
"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
- In a world where the rhetoric of leaders often sounds more like the taunts of a playground bully, it’s easy to lose hope for kindness. We admit it feels a bit like bringing flowers to a gunfight. Teach us, Father, how to respond in love and not in fear. Teach us what it means to speak with conviction without using words as weapons. Teach us to carry both strength and gentleness, to offer kindness even in our anger, to listen before lashing out. Remind us that kindness is not just a nice thought but a natural outcome for every image bearer who lives life in the Spirit. You have given us a spirit of love, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. Show us what it means to offer these gifts to our neighbors, teachers, families, and leaders with confidence, conviction, and a sound mind. May Your kindness be our steady filter and our sure companion. (Prayer by Emily Freeman)
- This Thursday, May 6th, is the National Day of Prayer. We’ve created a prayer guide for you to use and share here.
We want to see God honored in America, and we pray for an unprecedented spiritual awakening.
This devotion was produced in partnership with Every Home for Christ.
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