But the fruit of the Spirit is…kindness, goodness. – Galatians 5:22
Kindness and goodness are often used interchangeably in the Bible. We’ll consider them together. Kindness and goodness flow out of patience. Kindness and goodness are the positive manifestations of patience. In the words of Gordon Fee, “The Spirit not only empowers us to endure the hostility or unkindness of others; He also enables us to show kindness to them, actively to pursue their good. If longsuffering means not to “chew someone’s head off” (see Gal. 5:15), kindness means to find ways of binding up their wounds.” This is motivated by the fact that God not only withholds wrath from us, but also shows eternal kindness and goodness towards us in Christ (Ephesians 2:1-7).
Jerry Bridges describes kindness as, “a sincere desire for the happiness of others; goodness is the activity calculated to advance that happiness.” How can you show kindness and goodness to those in your home? At church? At work? In your neighborhood? To your enemies?
“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).
If you are weary of doing good, remember God’s kindness and goodness to you in Christ. In Christ, God’s kindness and goodness toward you are saving, merciful, life-transforming, generous and eternal (Titus 3:4-7). If God has been so kind and good to us in Christ, let us walk by the Spirit in Christ-like kindness and goodness toward others.
Suggestions for prayer
Pray that the Spirit would make you sensitive to the opportunities in your family, church and society to show kindness and goodness. Pray for the Spirit to enable you to walk in those good works, “which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10).