Characteristics of a Christian, Part 5 – Kindness

Key Verse:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-25

(See also Colossians 3:12-15)

Notes:

  • Kindness is the outward-looking Gospel motivation to make the lives of the people around us better.
  • The Gospel demonstrates how God has been kind to us.

The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.

Psalm 145:17

32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Jesus in Luke 6:32-36

Do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

Romans 2:4
  • Kindness takes repetitive, disciplined, focused effort directed to the benefit of others and motivated by God’s kindness toward us.
  • Two ways we can practice kindness as a reflection of God’s kindness to us.

1) We practice kindness by using our Time, Talents, and Treasures for the benefit of others.

Whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward

Jesus in Mark 9:41

4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.

Romans 12:4-6

2) We practice kindness by repenting of manipulative, harsh, selfish and critical words and by learning to benefit others with our words.

29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:29-32
  • Discussion Questions:

Who has a better life because you are part of it?

Who has made your life better?

What is a good definition of kindness, specifically Christian Kindness? Kindness is the outward-looking Gospel motivation to make the lives of the people around us better.

What is the difference between “practice random acts of kindness” and Christian Kindness?

Can a person learn to be kind, or is an unkind person simply stuck being unkind? Can a kind person learn to be more kind? If so how?

In what ways can you use your time, talents (abilities), and treasures (resources) to be kind?

In what ways can you use your words to be kind?

Why is it so easy to be unkind on social media?

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