For several blogs we’re thinking about “Living to the Nines” and by this we mean how we can live well. The basis of this “Living to the Nines” is the “Fruit of the Spirit” that the apostle Paul lists in his letter to the Galatians.
We’re looking at the nine facets of this fruit of a life filled with God. Paul writes, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 6:22-23) Let’s take a closer look at that fifth facet of the fruit of the Spirit of God, kindness.
What’s kindness? My definition – The person who exhibits kindness treats others as if every day were their birthday.
We’d all like to be known as a kind person. Who would want to have the reputation for being unkind?
So what does it mean to be kind? The synonyms for kindness include being attentive, considerate, and thoughtful. These three synonyms can help flesh out what it means to be kind.
Attentive – we pay attention to the other person. We don’t let ourselves be distracted so much by situations or our own needs that we overlook the other person. We seek to overcome our attention-deficit tendencies when it comes to others.
Considerate – we consider the other person’s circumstances, feelings, opinions, and tastes.
Thoughtful – we stop to think, actually assign mental energy, to thinking about the other person. We try to wrap our thoughts around the person, to embrace the person with our thinking.
God says, “I am the Lord, who exercises kindness.”(Jeremiah 9:24) When we exhibit the fruit, the result, of His Spirit within us, we will exercise kindness as well. “Try a Little Kindness” was the title of a hit song by Glen Campbell – good advice, no matter who we find our selves around today.
When I think of being kind I think of a person who spots an injured bird or small animal and tries to help the injured creature. All those around us, even those who act arrogant and pompous, are really wounded creatures in need of a little kindness. Kindness is a great gift to give to anyone, even if it’s not the person’s birthday!