By Pastor Ben Hill (reproduced with permission)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
Glen Campbell sang:
If you see your brother standing by the road
With a heavy load from the seeds he’s sowed
And if you see your sister falling by the way
Just stop and say, “You’re going the wrong way”
You got to try a little kindness, yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness then you’ll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets
Now to those of us who are old enough to the remember the song, and now have it “stuck” in our heads I say, “You’re welcome!”
Kindness…of all the fruits of the Spirit, this one is perhaps the most innately understood. Most everyone we meet has some idea of what kindness is, and can recognize kindness where it exists and where it doesn’t. Kindness doesn’t require any special knowledge; it is free, doesn’t need a program and doesn’t require special permission. No. Kindness is the simple act of being…well, KIND.
To express the love and grace of God necessitates kindness. How willing is someone going to be to listen to the Gospel if the one “preaching” it isn’t first and foremost kind?! The legalist shouts “truths” with condemnation while feeling secure in their self-righteousness. However, the Holy Spirit-led and passionate Christ follower wraps everything in a blanket of kindness and ministers grace and Truth to the community around them.
Another thought: As I typed the word “kind,” I was reminded of my niece, Kylie. She used to work for the KIND Snack company, and stocked us up well with their delicious snack bars. I remember thinking at the time how ironic it was because Kylie is by nature such a lovingly kind person! Well, curiosity kicked in and I did some quick research on the company; and there it is, where the name came from… it is just that, kindness. Their communicated goal is to 1) foster kindness to the body by using all natural ingredients; 2) Be kind to taste buds by making them taste great; and 3) Try to spread kindness through communities, country and the world.
Well, snack bars by themselves won’t get it done, but Jesus can! “Try a little kindness…” today and tomorrow and on and on… watch what the Lord does as we show the world the “kinder, gentler, loving side” of the church.