October 26, 2015

Who is the Holy Spirit and What Does He Have to Do with Fruit? (Part 5)

As Christians, we're supposed to be filled with the Spirit of God. But what, exactly, does that look like? Well, for one thing, it looks like kindness.

What in the Word: Galatians 5:22-25

Hang-Onto-It Verse: "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." (Galatians 5:22-23a)

I have such a treat for you, sweet friends. To finish out this series on the qualities of the fruit of the Spirit, I'll be sharing the wisdom and inspiration of other writers. First up is my friend Mary from SonRise Insights. I'm honored to be able to reshare Mary's beautiful post on kindness from her blog. Drink in God's truth as communicated by her lovely words, then head over to her blog to check out more from Mary.

More Friends of Joy: Kindness

by Mary Dolan Flaherty, SonRise Insights
Sometimes I start a post and it takes a whole different direction.

The last few days have been like that. Somehow, I personified joy and turned it into Joy. Gratitude, Peace, and Patience followed.

What's really exciting is that an entire story is evolving in my head, and I've been furiously writing (well, as time allows). There is so much in my head and I want to get it all out before I forget!

At any rate, I thought that I'd keep going with this personification of traits thing, so I'd like to introduce you today to Kindness.

Kindness has one of those common names. Everywhere she goes, people say, "Oh, I've met you before," or "I know you." 

Kindness, of course, being kind in nature, smiles genuinely--not at all in a condescending way--and says, "I have many relatives, so I'm not sure if the one you met before was me."

She explains:

There are a lot of people who are kind. And a lot of reasons behind their being kind. Some are kind for personal gain. Some are kind out of a sense of guilt or feelings that if they're kind, they'll restore relationship.

Then there are those who are kind for the sake of being kind. Because they truly care. Because that's just the way they are. Whatever the reasons, when kindness is spread, people are changed. Acts of kindness make people feel good-on the receiving AND the giving end.

But I am the Kindness that comes from God. It's hard to explain. There is no word in your English language to adequately describe me. The best way I can describe who I am is to tell you that that I meet real needs in God's way and in His timing. I am useful, usable, and serviceable.

I know that might sound a bit sterile, but it's really not. Think of that single mother you know who is struggling to make ends meet. She works two jobs and then her daughter gets sick and she misses a week of work. She doesn't get paid for that missed work, and because of that, she doesn't have enough to pay her rent that month.

Kindness sees that need. While prayer for this tired mom is needed, what is useful, useable, and serviceable is you and others like you buying her groceries, delivering them to her door, cleaning her house, and handing her an envelope with just the right amount of money needed to pay the rent.

That's the difference between just being kind and me--the fruit of God's spirit--Kindness.

While Joy and Gratitude are skipping, dancing, and laughing into the sunset, and Peace and Patience are quietly waiting for their friends at the still water by the sunset, Kindness, accompanied by Goodness, walks quietly, slowly, and purposefully toward the horizon. She is always looking, always searching, always aware of the needs around her.

Reference: Strong's --the word kindness comes from a root chrestos (sounds like Christ, right?)

"When your words came, I ate them; 
they were my joy and my heart's delight." (Jeremiah 15:16)

(Looking for Part 4 of this series? Find it here.)