Kindness: a fruit of the Spirit
You may have heard that researchers from the University of Sussex are currently carrying out a huge public science project to increase understanding of the characteristics of kindness†. There is much interest in the subject in many different fields including neuroscience, psychology and political science, in all of which academics want to work out what motivates us to behave kindly and what, if anything, we get out of being kind.
Kindness is one of the characteristics of Christ - along with love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I’d love to be able to demonstrate all of these things all of the time myself - but of course under my own steam, I certainly can’t.
God the Son knew that this was an impossible task for any of us. So, when he ascended into heaven, he left God the Holy Spirit to help us. In Galatians 5: 22-23, kindness is listed as one of the ‘fruits’ of the Spirit. Commentators tell us that these fruits are the outward evidence of God’s Holy Spirit working within us. Why did God want us to have these fruits? – surely because they enable us to come closer to fulfilling our intended purpose of loving God and loving our neighbour.
Heavenly Father, thank you that we can call upon your Holy Spirit to help us to show kindness to others. Be with us today to help us reflect Jesus in our interactions with others.