Updated: Feb 1
The fifth aspect of the (financial-) fruitfulness which is evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is ‘kindness.’
Kindness is the sincere and voluntary use of one’s time, talent, and resources to better your own life, the lives of others, and the world around you through genuine acts of love, compassion, generosity, and service.
Kindness is — and always will be — one of the most beautiful and powerful forces for good that exists in the entire world. Why? It’s because kindness is a way love is expressed, a reason love multiplies, and an example of what is possible when love is prioritized.
I am sure you have experienced many acts of kindness. I found one story from Thailand which was exceptional. Thailand’s third-largest mobile phone operator, called ‘True Move’ came u with a very moving account in a 3-minute commercial which made its way across the globe.
Here it is - be prepared for an emotional encounter!
The Holy Spirit produces kindness in us because it is an attribute of God Himself. “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4)
Kindness is a choice. A choice to choose giving instead of keeping. Kindness involves choice because there are many alternatives to kindness that will tempt us through life — including doing nothing (apathy) and putting myself first (selfishness).
Circumstances may test us. People may try us. News may trouble us. Yet, despite these obstacles, we each have the beautiful ability to actively choose to be kind.
In addition, kindness involves choice because there are so many different ways to be kind.
Kindness in marriage
The psychologist, Dr. John Gottmann studied thousands of couples to find out what makes marriage work. The results of his study showed that lasting relationships come down to—you guessed it—kindness and generosity. Tthe lesson from the research is clear: If you want to have a stable, healthy relationship, exercise kindness early and often.
There are many reasons why relationships fail, but if you look at what drives the deterioration of many relationships, it’s often a breakdown of kindness.
One of the most beautiful illustrations of the choice to be kind human kindness is King David’s treatment of Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 9. Scripture records David's question -- "Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?" David’s desire was to show “the kindness of God” to King Saul’s family because of his covenant with Saul’s son, Jonathan. The young man chosen was Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, who "was lame in both feet." If David had acted normally, he would have condemned Mephibosheth who belonged to a condemned family. Instead, David acted on the basis of kindness, seeking out Mephibosheth, who appeared before the King, terrified. David assured him “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.” (2 Samuel 9:7)
The Bible also says that kindness is a way God uses to overcome difficult times. The apostle Paul went through some really tough challenges. In 2 Corinthians 6:6, he describes “in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labours, sleepless nights, hunger.” In all of this he could carry on serving people, he maintained, “by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love.”
Kindness has a cost to it. It means giving to the other what we want to keep for ourselves – but that is love in action, sacrificial love, which fulfils the second of Jesus’ great commandments – to love your neighbour as yourself. A great question to ask is, “If I were in his or her shoes, what would I like him or her to do for me?”
Being kind Kindness involves not just being disciplined and doing nice things but becoming kind, as a lifestyle.
Left to our own, we would more readily show kindness to family and friends, or even to those from whom we want something. Biblical kindness produced by the Holy Spirit gives to those who cannot give in return, who could do nothing for us, but who need God’s love.
Demonstrating kindness is keeping our eyes open to people in need, and our spiritual hearts open to the prompting of the Spirit to help someone and share our resources.
Biblical kindness looks like Jesus who gave all so that we could be free to become all we can be. As He lives His life through us, kindness becomes intentional, a habit, a lifestyle, a continual practice.