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Thursday September 6 – The fruit of the Spirit: KINDNESS

The fruit of the Spirit is…kindness…. – Galatians 5:22

Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Kindness does not follow patience arbitrarily, any more than its pairing with patience elsewhere in Scripture, the most familiar being 1 Corinthians 13:4: “Love is patient. Love is kind.”

Kindness is a quality of mercy on the positive side and a refusal to be rude on the negative side. It is one thing to suffer, it is another to respond so someone suffers in return. Kindness avoids vengeance.

Kindness is the benevolent reaction of God to us. Ephesians 2:7 speaks of God’s immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Recipients of God’s kindness know that no one has suffered longer than God and His Christ have suffered for us, who are sinners. Yet, no one has responded better to suffering than God, Who in His loving kindness has displayed His benevolence in Christ. God calls us, then, to display the same kind of demeanour among those with whom we must suffer long, with a kindness that reflects the kindness of God in Christ.

Our calling is to reflect the loving kindness of our Saviour by showing loving kindness to our fellow-man.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray to the Lord that He might grant you the sort of kindness that reflects the greatness of His kindness to you in Christ.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. John Vermeer is the pastor of Doon United Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa.

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