Today, we will be breaking down the fruits of the Spirit: KINDNESS, GOODNESS, and GENTLENESS. The following definitions come from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The Scripture version are from the English Standard Version (ESV) Bible.
Kindness, Goodness, and Gentleness
Kindness, goodness, and gentleness are all characteristics that work closely together. The definition of kindness is the quality or state of being kind or a kind act. The word goodness means the quality or state of being good. Gentleness means the quality or state of being gentle as well as mildness of manners or disposition. There is more to being a Christian than accomplishing good deeds. Our motives behind our good deeds matter to God. We need to have a kind and gentle heart while we complete God’s work. It is easy to be kind to others when they are kind to us, but what about those who are unfriendly and mistreat us. Are we holding a grudge against those people or are we showing them kindness. God says we are to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). He also says to “love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil” (Luke 6:35). Titus 3:2 tells us to “speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward[s] all people.” When we are showing kindness and gentleness, while doing good, God is working through us for others to see His ways and not the world’s. It is vital that we look like Jesus through our words and actions.
Is there someone in your life that makes life difficult? Do you struggle showing kindness towards him or her? God has asked everyone, not just you, to be Jesus to the world. That means we must show kindness to everyone, not be selective to who deserves it.
In everything we do, we must have good motive. God looks at goodness as our heart. When we do something for God, we must do it in the goodness of our heart, not expecting anything in return. This is not always easy. God may ask of something that stretches our faith or boundaries that we have set for ourselves. God wants a cheerful heart in everything we do for Him!
Our words and actions can hurt people without even realizing what we are saying or doing. Our words must be gentle so we do not let others feel worthless or judged. Our actions must be synchronized with God so we know that they reflect Him and not the world.
All these things above: Kindness, Goodness, and Gentleness are all from God. Jesus functioned in all of these so that He could bring light into a dark and weary world. We are called to do the same. If you feel like you lack in one or more areas, take the time to pray and read the Bible. I encourage you to read about how Jesus lived here on earth. It is the greatest example of walking out the fruits of the Spirit.