The fruit of kindness
Jesus was a very good and kind man! His goodness is another aspect of God’s character that He beautifully expressed in His earthly life. This brings us a warm feeling of the moral tenderness and kindness of God. We must demonstrate this divine characteristic more in our own lives.
The false fruit of kindness
The fruit of kindness is not a weak and permissive attitude of someone who is willing to have peace at any price. Kindness does not permit others to easily transgress or brush aside principles. We must not equate kindness or docility to a sentimental sluggishness that causes our heart to control our head. This fruit possesses an underlying force that God himself supports by His power and purpose.
The true fruit of kindness
The Greek word meaning kindness is chrestotes. In eight of the 18 times that this term (noun or adjective) is used in the New Testament, it refers to an aspect of the character of God. Kindness is the quality of the heart that attracts people with cords of love. It communicates a personal care and an interest for others. It is an affable attitude that puts others at ease and protects them from suffering. It seeks to help and to heal those who are weak and bruised.
The Scriptures generally relate kindness to forgiveness. It is due to the goodness and mercy of God that He leads us to repentance to receive forgiveness:
Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? (Romans 2:4)
We see this in the life of Jesus when he dealt with the Samaritan woman by the well (John 4) and again when Jesus defended the woman at the home of Simon the Pharisee (Luke 7).
To be like to Jesus means to be good to others, supportive and forgiving:
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31, 32)
The rotten fruit of the flesh
We have already seen through some of the Scriptures above some of the characteristics of the flesh that seek to oppose the fruit of kindness. These characteristics include the attitudes and actions that are cruel, rude, rash, rough, aggressive and unforgiving.
We cannot be kind and selfish at the same time. Kindness and the support of others, as we have already seen in the life of Jesus, walk hand-in-hand. Good leaders do not impose their ideas and desires over others in an oppressive way.
Jesus said that His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). The Greek word translated light is chrestos. In this verse, it means easy to place upon and well-fitting. It illustrates kindness of purpose as well as practice, in planning and in positioning.
Young leaders in their zeal may sometimes be inattentive toward others. In their anxiety to do things for God, there is the danger that harsh words and actions may arise. One of the signs of Christian maturity is kindness.
Aged wine is smooth and light. It loses its harsh bitterness.
And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’ (Luke 5:39)
The Greek word translated “better” is chrestos. May we strive to become kind and docile just as Jesus was, in the proportion that we mature in him.