This past Sunday in our Sunday School Class, we talked about the Fruit of the Spirit. We discussed how that we often think of fruit in our lives as the number of souls we have “led to the Lord” by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with someone. That is one type of fruit, but fruit in the life of a Christian, is much more than that. It is, by definition, the EVIDENCE that we know and walk with God.
So what is the fruit that is not often thought of in our circles, but we tell our children to practice all the time – kindness. I think we take kindness for granted because we think of it by the acts that we perform for another person, especially someone who is in peril or need at a given moment when we happen upon them. Again, that is a *type* of kindness, but I must also present that I believe kindness to be a way in which we go about everything we do as permeating our very being. It is HOW we live, not just WHAT we do.
Is it always giving someone what they want? Is it truly the opposite of meanness, as some would think? That word is not always clearly defined either, I would say.
Was Jesus then unkind when He withheld certain things from His disciples or others who asked things of Him? How could we even ask such a question, you may think, but seriously, if we’re defining kindness as giving to someone what they want all the time. I think it’s a fair question.
In John 11, we read the account of when Lazarus died, and how his sisters, Mary and Martha, had asked Jesus to come to Bethany several days before, while Lazarus was still alive, yet very ill. Jesus delayed, and to those on the outside looking in, it could be perceived as meanness. However, Jesus knew the greater glory for His Father, would be for Lazarus to be raised from the dead … FOUR DAYS after he died and was buried.
What then was the better, kinder act? Hindsight is always 20/20, so I think the answer is obvious. Do we not weap and cry, though, when the prayers we pray are not answered in the way we want them to be? We must be reminded that God is in control and sees as we cannot. (Isaiah 55:8-9)