Chuck Allen, Lead Pastor
Bobby McGraw, Teaching Pastor
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
The fruit of the Spirit is kindness. See that? Kindness is an outward indicator that an inward change is still taking place in our hearts!
President George Bush was inaugurated as the President of the United States, and everybody was waiting to hear what kind of a challenge he would give to us as a nation. And do you know what his challenge was? To be a kinder and gentler nation. What a challenge. For the President of the United States to say to the greatest nation on earth, the need is kindness. The need is gentleness. The need is self-control! That’s not just the need of America, or the need of Sugar Hill Church. That’s the need of your family, school, team, ban, business or relationships – that’s the great need of our life.
I agree with the little girl who prayed, O God, make all the bad people good, and make all the good people nice. We have a lot of folks who are good, but they just need to learn how to be kind.
What is kindness? Let’s talk about kindness. Why is the word kindness here in Galatians chapter 5 verse 22, also called gentleness? Well, it comes from a root word which means to be useful, to be good, to be helpful, or to be suitable.
That’s what it literally means. It is translated sometimes goodness, sometimes tenderness, sometimes friendliness, sometimes generosity. But we all know what kindness is when we see it.
Kindness is love in shoe leather. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 and verse 4, Love is kind. And so, all kindness is just simply love in practical and personal ways. That’s what kindness is.
Do you remember a couple of weeks ago, when I reminded us why we ought to be kind? The first reason was that God has first been kind to us! God has saved us through his kindness. God has been so kind to us.
Think of these scriptures. The first is found in Titus 3:4 When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.
Do you know what the Bible calls the coming of Jesus into the world? God’s kindness toward us. You have been saved by the kindness of God, and therefore, Paul says in Ephesians 4:32 be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Another reason to be kind is the world isn’t going to see the Jesus in us until they see our kindness. The world isn’t interested in our theology until they see that it has it changed our life.
Someone has written, People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. You see, God is love, and love is kind. Watch this… Jesus enters our life – our humanity, and there He is going to display his greatness to the degree that we are a kind and a gentle people.
There’s another reason we ought to be kind. It’s simply this… If you want kindness, you need to give it. Whatever you want, learn to give. Because the Bible says we’re going to reap what we sow.
Are you worried about folks taking advantage of you? Have you ever felt that way?
Roberto deVincenzo, an Argentine golfer, once won a PGA tournament, and after receiving the check and smiling for the cameras, he went to the clubhouse and prepared to leave. Some time later he walked alone to his car in the parking lot and was approached by a young woman.
She congratulated him on his victory and then told him that her child was seriously ill and near death. DeVincenzo was touched by her story and took out his pen and endorsed his winning check for payment to the woman. “Make some good days for the baby,” he said as he pressed the check in her hand.
The next week he was having lunch in a country club when a PGA official came to his table. “Some of the guys in the parking lot last week told me you met a young woman there after you won the tournament,” deVincenzo nodded. “Well,” said the official, “I have news for you. She’s a phony. She’s not married. She has no sick baby. She fleeced you, my friend.”
“You mean there is no baby who is dying?” said deVincenzo. “That’s right.” “That’s the best news I’ve heard all week,” said deVincenzo.
There is no baby that is dying. What an attitude! You know, so many of us are so cynical, we’re afraid that we’re going to do something and have somebody take advantage of us. Aren’t you glad that God keeps the score? Aren’t you glad that God knows? It doesn’t matter if somebody takes advantage of us if we’re acting like Jesus.
People took advantage of Jesus. Indeed, they did. But he was kind and is kind. The Scriptures say in Galatians 6:10, Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.
Opportunities come to be kind, and so many times we let them go past. Let me ask you a question. Has the Spirit of God ever prompted you to do an act of kindness to someone, maybe make a phone call and encourage them, maybe to write a note, maybe to send a gift, maybe to send a book, or maybe just to do some little thing for somebody that you really knew would mean something to them, and you said, I’m going to do it, but you delayed, and the time passed, and you got too busy, and after awhile it was just too late, you would have been embarrassed to do it?
I mentioned 2 weeks ago that the chief enemy to kindness is busyness. We’re so busy. We have our priorities, our jobs, our duties, our responsibilities, and we’re too busy. But if we’re too busy to be kind, we’re too busy. And the Bible says, As we have opportunity, let us do good.
You can’t do a kindness too soon, because you never know how soon it may be too late. Okay, Bobby…Okay Chuck – Where should I be kind? Well, be kind in times of conflict, in times of arguments, in times of quarrels.
The Scriptures say in 2 Timothy 2:24, A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.
Are you a servant of the Lord? Then you can’t be quarrelsome. You’ve got to be kind in times of conflict. When I’m in a quarrelsome attitude with anybody we have to remember that our lives are on stage for all to see. How we act and how we react are extraordinary statements of what we really believe.
In times of stress and conflict we need to be kind. Just in our conversation we need to be kind. Our words can bless or burn, our words can hurt or heal.
Everybody needs a little kindness. I heard of a man went into a little roadside diner, for breakfast, and a waitress came out, her hands on her hips. She said, What do you want? Well, he said, I’d like some eggs and a few kind words. She didn’t say anything, just went around back to the kitchen. After awhile she came out with a plate, some greasy eggs, and slapped them down in front of him. He said, Where are my kind words? She said, Don’t eat them eggs. Friend, everybody needs some kind words.
I guarantee you that you know someone going through a divorce, or has a broken home. Somebody who is facing a business failure or financial loss. Perhaps there’s somebody who lost a friend or child by death, somebody who is sick, somebody who is lonely.
You say, Bobby, I just don’t, I’m not good at helping people when they’re suffering. I just don’t know what to say. Often, it’s not what you way. It’s just that little act of kindness that means so much.
You know where we need to be kind the most? In our homes.Don’t we? Why is it that we sometimes are the most unkind to those we love the best, with, the most cutting remarks are sometimes in the home? A faith that is displayed in anger and sarcasm and selfishness at home is not a faith is Christ Jesus!
I couldn’t count the number of marriages that could be saved by a little kindness. You see, kindness is made up of little sacrifices. Guys – you are to be the head of your home. But do you know what one of the marks of leadership is? 2 Timothy 2:2 4 says that, The servant of the Lord must be kind.
Kindness is a mark of leadership. Gentleness is a mark of leadership. Gentleness and Kindness are evidences of leadership.
The Psalmist said to the Lord, Your kindness has made me great. Do want your children to be great? Be kind to your children.
You know, your words can so encourage them. Do you nag or do you brag? Do you encourage or do you belittle? Your children need kindness. They will grow, they will blossom with a father or mother who is kind. The Bible says of a gracious woman, a wife, kindness is in her mouth. Your kids need this kindness perhaps more than anything else.
Today, we want to ask you to engage your daily life in us as it Kindness.
If you are married, or have a significant other…have this conversation…as dangerous as it may sound…On a scale of 1-10:
How are we doing in our kindness with each other?
How are we doing in displaying kindness as a way of preparing our children?
How are we known by others that have no faith system?
How do other believers see us?
These aren’t hard questions and they aren’t difficult demands…Each of these are simple questions as to what we really believe. You see, without the presence of Jesus in our hearts…the presence of the Divine in our soul, we will never offer kindness as our default.
So, the real question is, do you have Jesus sitting on the throne of your soul…I mean to the degree that hard hearts are softened, hatred is overcome by love, swift anger is overwhelmed by patience and selfishness is erased by servanthood?
You see, when God created us to worship Him, we were also created to serve others in His name. Are your actions and reactions an ongoing evidence of the power, peace and presence of Jesus?
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