The fifth fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 is kindness.
When we speak of kindness, we speak of treating others well. It’s the attitude that is expressed in the “golden rule”, do to others as you wish they would do to you (Matthew 7:12). It is also the same attitude we find in 1 Peter 2:17, “Honor everyone.”
Kindness goes out of the way to treat people with respect, it seeks to brighten someone’s day.
The reason this is a fruit of the Spirit is that unconditional kindness is not natural to us. We hear people say, “If you want respect then you must show respect.” We tend to base our kindness toward others on how people treat us.
The Spirit leads us beyond ourselves in this. So that even if others disrespect us, we still seek to show them kindness.
Kindness can come in many forms. You can hold the door open for someone. You can let someone merge during rush hour. You can write an encouraging note. You can compliment someone. You can smile and sincerely ask how a person’s day is going. You can buy a person an unexpected gift. You can speak well of someone behind their back (the opposite of gossip). And the list goes on and on.
So, let us pray that God would grow more kindness in our hearts through his Spirit and let us seek ways that we can show kindness to others, no matter their attitude toward us.
Next time, we’ll consider the fruit of goodness.
All scripture references taken from the Christian Standard Bible (CSB).