The Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness and Goodness
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Kindness is the medium through which Christ’s love becomes real and tangible to others. It is practicing sympathy, identification, benevolence and a loving attitude towards others. Because God is tender with us, we are tenderhearted to those who are in need, are weak, or can never help us. Kindness shows the world that we are a real Christian, like fragrance coming from a flower. Kindness means responding with righteousness and thoughtful consideration no matter how people treat us or whether they deserve it.
The opposite of kindness is cruelty and spitefulness
If we do not see how Jesus cares for us, we will not care for what He cares for. We will be mean and hold grudges, the opposite of His character. God created us for relationships, and when we ignore this, we fail to live our lives as witnesses for Him. We live in a world that accepts cruelty as being cool, but regardless of culture, the Christian is called to be like Jesus, and that means embracing kindness and caring.
Kindness is not always being accepting, liberal, or open-minded. These are adjectives that culture has put forth; it is important to understand that we should not accept everything; we are not called to open our minds to everything. Instead, kindness is thoughtful consideration to one another—love that encompasses empathy, compassion and goodwill action with discernment. We are called to be kind to enemies (Luke 6:34-35), to strangers (Lev. 19:34), to family (Duet. 22:1) and to outcasts (Life of Jesus).
Kindness is not something we confront, it is something we proclaim.
The Fruit of the Spirit is Goodness
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12
Goodness is the engagement and application of love! It is God’s righteousness being exhibited in us to show our moral excellence in action. It displays integrity, honesty and compassion to others and allows us to do the right thing. Goodness takes our virtue and excellence that Christ empowers us with and models it to others in the action of love. It is doing the right thing even when it does not feel like it.
Goodness is the display case of Christ and His love in us. This means we are transformed and renewed, as we live out the Gospel. It is the love and grace in our lives first transforming us so we can be used in the lives of others. It comes without pretention or pride, rather in joy, manifesting the goodness and character of Christ so we are relevant, relatable, and contagious for God and Church.
The opposite of goodness is badness, cruelty, and evil.
When we are not right with God, we become the opposite of His will. We become ruthless, to the point of depravity and debauchery. When we fight against each other especially in the church, you see how hurtful and even pathetic it is in God’s eyes!
Goodness is the application of true love. Being good will help us be patient, kind, understanding and forgiving to others. It will be the fruit that helps us build each other up, build His Church, reach His community and restore relationships.
Goodness is the character trait that makes people liked and even lovable by others. It is attractive and alluring, that catches people’s attention and respect. This is the quintessential element that attracts people to you and keeps friendships healthy. It builds marriages and shows God’s love to others around us. It is virtue in action; it is being a role model and putting into practice excellence in all that we do. Goodness enables us to be liked and enjoyed, even if an enemy comes against us (Prov. 25:22). It is the taste of what is to come, the flavor of how we are to be (Psalm 34:8; 119:103). It is our expression of worship and gratitude to Christ played out in our lives, so we can enjoy Him and He can enjoy us, and so that life can be more enjoyable for all.
Are these Fruits of the Spirit – Kindness and Goodness – in you?
- How do I exhibit kindness and goodness in my daily life?
- What can I do to develop a more good and kind attitude?
- What blocks kindness and goodness from being expressed in me?
- How can I ask God for the strength to be kind as He is?
- How can I depend on God to give me His goodness?
Read an earlier post in this series here.