Thoughts on Kindness

Kindness: This first thing to catch my interest in this chapter of Winward’s Fruit of the Spirit was a quote from Quaker Stephen Grellet,

“I expect to pas through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow-creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”(pg. 136)

The words show a great amount of wisdom and ring a warning to us about our temporal lives.  We may not live until tomorrow to do that next act of kindness that has been put off.  We need to act now.  But what was more striking to me was how he connected Christian conversion with kindness.  Using the story of Paul and Silas in Philippi he tells us they had been beaten and the jailer had fastened them in the stocks, without any concern for their pain and suffering, but when he was converted the text tells us, 

“He took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds.” (Acts 16:33)

Kindness is part of being a Christian and it is a radically different way of interacting with society than the non-Christian way.  The actual word used in Gal 5:22 is chrestotes and means

“goodness toward the evil and ungrateful, it is beneficience towards enemies.” 

In the case of Paul, Silas and the Jailer, they were his enemies, but now his friends.  Paul and Silas showed not anger, rather they showed patience and kindness to the Jailer, he in turn, after conversion, showed kindness and love.

About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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