Kindness In Action
I come from a long line of tall people and being tall is super helpful when you’re grocery shopping. Well, helpful for the more, let’s say, vertically challenged ones among us! The fact that I frequently get asked to reach for something off the top shelf happens more often than not when I go to the supermarket, and I just love the fact that my height can be used to show kindness to strangers. However, my husband (who is tall too) goes one step further and not only does he kindly reach things down from the top shelf for other shoppers but directs many others to different aisles when they ask him where certain products are. I always smile to myself when I observe these moments because so many strangers are amazed at his kindness in action that it becomes a win-win situation.
Galatians 5:22-23 says, ‘But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions. Joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.’[TVT]
Why is kindness so important? More to the point, why is kindness in action so needed in this world? Well, not only does kindness produce dopamine (the ‘I feel so good’ hormone) it reduces stress and boasts someone’s optimism. Kindness in action is being mindful, it’s looking past your list of to-do’s because kindness becomes an intentional purpose of thinking less of yourself and more about others.
Kindness is on the list of the fruits of the Spirit because God shows us His kindness. All the fruits start with the divine love of the Holy Spirit because left to our own devices we’d never produce joy, peace, patience, kindness, a life filled with generosity, a gentle heart, or strength of spirit, would we? If we’re too busy worrying about ourselves kindness suffers and we miss out on showing God’s goodness and love to others. Kindness in action would become M.I.A. (Missing In Action) unless we keep looking for opportunities to show it.
Unfortunately, I’ve met some very mean Christians over the years who don’t show any kindness in action. Sadly, they’ve become so caught up in themselves that they miss out on all the freedom kindness offers. Psalm 23:6 reminds us not to fear for our future, ‘So why would I fear the future? For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life.’ God is the Good Shepherd and if you’re a believer then you’re one of His sheep and God takes care of all of His sheep. His goodness and love seek you out, His kindness goes after you, and it energises you. Kindness in action is valuing others above ourselves because we belong to Jesus, the Anointed One, so we’ve already experienced a crucifixion, a dying to our self-serving life. (Galatians 5:24)
Kindness doesn’t come from a place of weakness but of strength and when you walk with the Spirit day by day kindness in action becomes second nature. ‘Now since we have chosen to walk with the Spirit, let’s keep each step in perfect sync with God’s Spirit. This will happen when we set aside our self-interests and work together to create true community instead of a culture consumed by provocation, pride, and envy.’ (Galatians 5:22-26)
The thing about kindness is that it’s limitless. You can never run out of kindness because its flow is in abundance and I remind myself often that Christ lives in me and that I could possibly be the only ‘Jesus’ some stranger meets as I go about my day-to-day life.
We need to throw kindness around like confetti and look for moments to bless others. And regardless of whether people appreciate our kindness in action or not, it doesn’t stop us from showing kindness because it comes from within. Whether it’s reaching for a can of tuna on a supermarket shelf or buying a homeless guy a coffee and egg and bacon roll, if we keep in step with the Spirit then others will benefit from the fruit!
Where have you shown a stranger kindness in action?
Why not write out this Scripture and stick it somewhere you’ll see each morning?
Galatians 5:22-23 says, ‘But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions. Joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.’ [TVT]