This is part four of a series that asks the question: how can we live a life on target for God? God lays out some clear targets for our lives: the Fruit of the Spirit. When these are flowing from our life we know we are hitting God’s desired target. This week we’ll focus on kindness on target.
Kindness seems like a “well duh” fruit of the Spirit. Of course we as Christians are supposed to be kind. This is so self-evident that we might as well move onto the next fruit. The problem with kindness is not that we don’t know we are supposed to be kind, it’s that we so often choose not to be kind. Every day I see loads of Christian friends demonstrating a severe lack of kindness on social media. Not only are we “virtually” unkind, we often lack kindness in the workplace, in the Church, in our relationships, and even in our families. If we know we are supposed to be kind, yet routinely struggle at it, what do we need to do to consistently hit the target of kindness?
There is a striking story of the difference between the unkindness of the world and the kindness of Jesus in Matthew 20.
And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him. Matthew 20:29-35
Everyone in this story saw the two blind men, but only Jesus decided to show them kindness. While we may quickly fault the crowd for being unkind, they were not that different from many of us. Some likely believed the two blind men had brought their blindness upon themselves by sinning, and others perhaps thought they should seek help in other ways. Only Jesus took the time to listen to them, ask them what they needed, and to meet their needs with kindness and love. Jesus didn’t make excuses for not being kind, but instead chose to demonstrate kindness.
See, here is something we need to understand about kindness. True kindness transforms others. It makes them better in some meaningful way. How can we use kindness in our lives to transform and improve others? Who in our life needs to experience transformation, and what kindness can we show them that can begin that transformation? We may not have the power to heal like Jesus, but we can still transform lives be sharing His kindness and love in regular, ordinary, and powerful ways.