22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23
When we are supernaturally filled with the fruit of patience, it's evidenced in the next two fruits - kindness and goodness.
Kindness is a tender heart and a nurturing spirit. When the Spirit fills us, our hearts become soft toward those around us, and our desire is to bring them goodness. It’s that quality of doing right by one another—that warm-heartedness softness we show to those we care about. The Greek Word for kindness in this verse is actually a word used for fine aging wine. As the wine ages, it gets sweeter over time - in the same way, the Holy Spirit makes us sweeter over time.
Kindness expressed in action is goodness. Kindness is the burning desire to share with others all that He has done for us, and goodness is following through on that desire. Goodness is righteousness in action. Goodness boldly does what’s right, and encourages others to do good as well.
This reminder begs the question: are we becoming kinder over time? Would the people who do life with us describe us as sweet and thoughtful? Sadly, there are people in my life who wouldn’t describe me with either of those characteristics. I don’t think most would describe me as unkind, but I also don’t think everyone in my life would say I go out of my way to be especially kind. There are some who would describe me as neutral. Spending time in these verses this week serves as a reminder that it’s my responsibility to change that. Since the Spirit lives inside of me, kindness is a fruit everyone should see in me. Everyone. From family members to coworkers to people in the local grocery store - everyone who knows me should describe me as kind. And not just neutral, but as a child of God, I should demonstrate a kindness that goes out of its way to be thoughtful and sweet to others. It’s my job to ensure that happens.
So I must take the time to reflect on what causes me to behave in a way that is less than kind, even what causes me to be neutral. When I dig down, I find it’s usually because I have my own agenda of wants and desires, my own list of things I want to get done or see happen, my own expectations for how people should behave or treat me. When these things are ruling my thoughts, my behavior is self-focused. My thoughts are on myself, so my words and my actions are intended to benefit me.
These are the thoughts I must surrender daily and replace with His plan. What is His agenda for my day? What does He want to see done in my life? What are His expectations for me? When I meditate on His desires for my life, I naturally put other people first, and I actively seek ways to demonstrate His loving kindness and goodness to others.
I try to live my life in such a way that the people in my life know that I am a believer. That means, I represent Jesus in everything I do and say. I want my words and my actions to help people see the kindness and the goodness of our God, so I continually pray that He removes my own agenda that would stop me from demonstrating His love to others.
We must daily seek His filling our hearts with the desires of the Spirit, so that we put down what we want and pick up what only He wants.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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