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9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit (6) Fruit of Kindness

Manmin News   No. 707
669
December 05, 2021


쏝ut the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Gal. 5:22-23


People often say, 쏧t is absolutely impossible to understand him no matter how hard I try, or 쏧 can never forgive her. Kindness as in one of the fruits of the Spirit is mercy of God. If we have this kindness, we can forgive and understand anyone. We can accept any kind of person with love and goodness. Now, let us look into kindness which is one of the fruits of the Spirit.


1. Fruit of Kindness

Kindness as in one of the fruits of the Spirit is a merciful heart. In the spiritual sense, it is to be within the truth and understand those who can셳 be understood at all and to forgive those who can셳 be forgiven at all.
God has this mercy and compassion on mankind. Furthermore, He gave the life of His only begotten Son Jesus to save us from the eternal death. Jesus advised His disciples to 쏝e merciful, just as your Father is merciful (Luke 6:36).
Mercy is similar to love, and yet different. Spiritual love is to be able to sacrifice oneself without seeking one셲 own whereas mercy is more of forgiveness and acceptance. It is to accept even those who can't be loved at all. You wouldn셳 hate or stay away from those who have different opinions than yours, but you셝 try to give them comfort and strength.
In John chapter 8, some scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. They mentioned the Law that says such a woman must be stoned to death, and asked what He was going to do. He wrote something on the ground and said, 쏦e who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her (John 8:7).
Those who had pangs of conscience left one by one and the woman was left alone. Jesus said to her, 쏧 do not condemn you, either. Go, from now on sin no more (John 8:11). Although it wasn셳 forgivable, Jesus gave her another chance to turn from her ways.
As above, mercy is true forgiveness and is to be able to love even the enemies. Even if some are found with great iniquities or grave sins, you셝 have compassion before judging. You셝 hate the sin but not the man, and you셝 try to understand them and give them life.


2. Characteristics of Those with Kindness

1) They Are without Prejudice

James 2:1-4 says, 쏮y brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, 쏽ou sit here in a good place, and you say to the poor man, 쏽ou stand over there, or sit down by my footstool, have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?
1 Peter 1:17 says, 쏧f you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one셲 work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth. If we have the fruit of kindness, we won셳 pass judgment or condemn anyone just by looking at their appearances.
We should also think about whether or not we have spiritual prejudice. There are some who are slow to spiritual understanding. They might have some deficiencies in their growth, so they say something out of context or it셲 hard for people to talk to them. Some of them do not have proper manners. Don셳 we look down on those people and try to stay away from them?
Or isn셳 there an occasion in which we speak rudely or show impolite behaviors? Some people pass judgment on those who committed sins as if they were the judge. However, if we have kindness, we will have compassion toward those who are going through punishment of God for their sins; we셝 just want them to make a comeback.

2) They Have Mercy on and Help Those in Need

To bear the fruit of kindness, we shouldn셳 just have pity on or say nice things to those who are in need, but we should provide them with substantial help (James 2:15-16; 1 John 3:17-18).
When we see those who are in pain, it is kindness to be willing to help them and to alleviate their pain. When we see those who are going the way to hell, we care for them even more in order to lead them to the way of salvation.
I셶e experienced extreme poverty and utter hopelessness due to incurable diseases. So, when I see those who are suffering from such problems, I feel like their problems are my own. I셝 like to solve their problems with all my best. It is my greatest wish to lead everyone I meet to the way of heaven.
And the answer I got after a long, long series of prayers was the power of God. I can셳 possibly solve the problems of poverty, sicknesses, disasters and hardships for everyone, but God can. So, I wanted to show them great power of God so that they can meet and experience God.
Of course, even for those who witnessed the power of God and came to have faith, they still needed both spiritual and material support, so I tried my best in charitable work as well.

3) They Don셳 Point Out Other셲 Faults and Mistakes

If we love someone, we sometimes have to point out their mistakes, too. If we just cover all their faults, it will eventually ruin them. However, if we have kindness, we will feel uneasy to reprimand or give advice.
Even if when we absolutely have to give advice, we셝 do it carefully, watching the mood of the person (Prov. 12:18). Especially, those who are teaching the believers should be very careful. Even if what you셱e saying is correct, if you give advice without spiritual love and within your own self-righteousness, the people won셳 be changed, but rather, they셝 get disheartened and lose strength.
Of course, Jesus once rebuked the Pharisees and scribes saying, 쏽ou brood of vipers and 쐆ypocrites, for they couldn셳 accept any advice. He meant to give them a chance so that just one more soul would listen to Him. Also, because they were the teachers, He wanted the people not to be deceived by their hypocrisy.
Other than such a special case, we should not disclose other people셲 faults thereby hurting their feelings or making them stumble. Even if we have to give advice, we should do it with wisdom that cherishes that soul.

4) They Are Generous and Give the Credit to Others

We can bear the fruit of kindness when we do not want anything in return for our giving. Jesus knew Judas Iscariot would betray Him but He still loved him unsparingly. He treated him the same as He셝 treat other disciples. He gave him a chance to repent. Even when He was crucified, He prayed for those who were crucifying Him (Luke 23:34).
As in Jesus셲 case, it is kindness to forgive even those who can셳 be forgiven at all. Stephen was being stoned by the Jews who had pangs of conscience after hearing his sermon. Yet he prayed for them saying, 쏬ord, do not hold this sin against them! It means he had already forgiven them, and he had only mercy on them. He had borne the fruit of kindness.
In order to bear the fruit of kindness, we should be able to accept others who have different personalities and opinions than our own. We can change our dislike into favorable feelings if we put ourselves in the shoes of other people. We셝 understand them and have compassion on them. We should rid ourselves of hatred and hard feelings as we change our feelings.
When others did something well, we should give them the credit, and when things have gone wrong, we should put the blame on ourselves. We should put others ahead of us and rejoice with them when they are recognized by others.


Dear brothers and sisters, the fruit of kindness is an attribute of God who is full of love. May you bear the 9 fruits of the Spirit and please God in every matter so that you will receive blessings on this earth and enjoy great honor in heaven!


 

 

 
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