"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." ~ Galatians 5:22-23(NKJV)
Don't you just love hearing a kind word from someone? Or maybe even just a kind voice speaking to you with respect. Unfortunately, it has become a rarity in the world today. We (in general) are on edge, irritated easily, lash out at strangers, and treat their loved ones like they don't matter. We are wound so tightly, due to stress, worry, illness, and a host of other things that steal our sleep and out peace. Some have a heaviness in their voice, a spirit of depression that you can hear even if they are just the person taking your order at the drive-thru. The enemy is killing the spirit of so many of us. The truth is, we allow him to. *OUCH* That has been a hard pill to swallow, but it is the truth none the less. We have the opportunity to choose how we will act, react, and feel every day. Every choice has a consequence, good or bad,
Kindness, goodness, gentleness go hand in hand. When you read this words what do they make you feel?
"Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." - 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (NKJV)
Goodness brings to mind that that feeling a good tasty strawberry brings to your taste buds. A hug from a loved one. A kiss from my spouse. Last night as we were sitting outside watching the fireworks with my parent's he rubbed my feet (Praising God for a good man!).
"For His merciful kindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!" -Psalm 117:2 (NKJV)
Kindness, brings to mind when a friend, loved one, or stranger compliments me on something I struggle with. It brings to mind a smile from someone that lights up their face. A kind word spoken that makes my heart smile.
“You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;
Your gentleness has made me great."-2 Samuel 22:36 (NKJV)
Gentleness, Oh what a quality to have! A gentle voice that soothes hurt feelings. A gentle touch that soothes fear and relieves tension. A gentle look to calm the chaos that runs through our minds.
His merciful kindness, His goodness, His gentleness, all towards us. Undeserving, unmerited, unworthy of any of it, yet He willingly gives it to us. Give it = GIFT! Just like salvation, the ultimate gift. He extends so much more through His love for us. Can you wrap your mind around that!?
As humans our righteousness is like filthy rags. We withhold kindness, goodness, and gentleness almost daily. We are quick to extend judgement loudly, so everyone around knows just how bad that other person is. We are quick to expect all the good things from others but don't much feel like giving it first, possibly, we will give it in return. Imagine how our actions break God's heart daily as He looks upon those who claim to be His children, claim to love like Jesus, but instead live like foolish devil children. (Preaching to myself!)
We can't pick and chose which Fruit of the Spirit we want to apply to our lives. It comes as a package deal. You can't have one without the other. We need to be aware of our actions, reaction, thoughts, words that flow from our mouths (and fingers), our treatment of our loved ones and strangers, and our treatment of ourselves. What message do you want your life to speak to the world?
"And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise." - Luke 6:31 (NKJV)