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, ESV).
What is Biblical kindness?
Saying, “That’s wrong, that’s politically incorrect, or that’s un-American,” isn’t kindness, even if true, unless the difficult words are accompanied by mercy.
Telling someone that you are there for them isn’t kindness; showing up with an offer to babysit children during a time of crisis is kindness.
Biblical kindness has two meanings . . .
First, righteousness based upon God’s truth.
Second, meeting real needs based upon God’s love.
Both are needed – as kindness is based upon the holiness of God’s love and truth.
Our loving actions can cause more harm, like indulging a rebellious child, and an emphasis on truth without compassion might become religious hypocrisy.
We are practicing kindness when we serve others from the perspective of compassion and justice.
Paul says this when he writes . . .
Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe toward those who disobeyed, but kind to you if you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off (Romans 11:22, NLT).
Have you had someone say to you, “You don’t love me,” when you refused their request, knowing that it would harm them? Have you said something harsh because a person didn’t live up to your expectations and afterward felt guilty?
Kindness unites godliness with serving.
To some — especially in a fallen world — kindness seems hard, especially when we speak God’s word to lifestyle choices.
To others — also in a fallen world — kindness sounds hollow if we have wealth but ignore the needs of orphans and widows.
Kindness helps in a way that bolsters good and challenges evil.
The book of Titus says . . .
When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-5, NLT).
Jesus was the ultimate example of kindness when He died for our sins.
Application: How can we be Jesus to others? How do we try kindness this week? God will give us opportunities to serve but also stand for truth. Look for them. Jesus described kindness when He said . . .
You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? (Matthew 5:13, NLT)
Salt hurts our wounds of sin, but it also cleanses for healing.