When I was a kid I learned about the Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5. We talked a lot about love and joy, but I think the least talked about one is kindness. We could use a lot more of that one in today’s world. We’ve become so focused on trying not to offend others that we’ve forgotten the importance of kindness. Caring for and putting the needs of others is what kindness is all about. In fact, research has found that kindness is the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage. I would argue that the same goes for all relationships.
The reason it’s a Fruit of the Spirit is because it’s the opposite of what our flesh wants. Naturally we are selfish people who look out for ourselves most. The Greatest Commandment is to love God and to love others as yourself. Showing kindness is one of the best ways to do this. It breaks down walls and builds bridges. It costs you nothing to be kind to someone, but yields an incredible return. Today, look for an opportunity to be kind to someone, especially someone who doesn’t deserve it. God’s love in action through you may be just what they need.
Here are some Bible verses on kindness.
1. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Romans 12:8 NLT
2. But I say to you who hear [Me and pay attention to My words]: Love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, [make it a practice to] do good to those who hate you, bless and show kindness to those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
LUKE 6:27-28 AMP
3. If you oppress poor people, you insult the God who made them; but kindness shown to the poor is an act of worship.
Proverbs 14:31 GNT
4. A man of kindness attracts favor, while a cruel man attracts nothing but trouble.
Proverbs 11:17 TPT
5. So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
Colossians 3:12-14 MSG