All the fruits of the Spirit “taste” good and “smell” of eternal glory. Some of these fruits are named in Galatians 5:22-23: “…love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control...” Jesus, who called us from darkness to His wonderful light, has called us to show His glory. And His glory is His virtues, the fruits of the Spirit. (1 Peter 2:9.)
Kindness is one of the Spirit’s fruits. If we want the glory of this good fruit of kindness to come from our life, everything that is hard in our own life must be crushed. Kindness is firmly connected to the wisdom that is from above, which is pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to submit, full of mercy and good fruits. (James 3:17.)
Everything that God creates is firm and immovable and does a deep work. We read in Proverbs 25:15 that a gentle tongue breaks bones. No evil can overcome the power of gentleness. Gentleness makes the heavenly things seem very great and the earthly things very small so that they are not worth fighting over at all.
Paul had a powerful message of “death” over every kind of sin; but when it came to doing what he preached, he came with kind and good words, full of hope, comfort and help. He writes in 2 Corinthians 10:1 (NCV), “I, Paul, am begging you with the gentleness and the kindness of Christ… easy on you when I am with you and bold when I am away.”
In 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 (GNT) he writes, “But we were gentle when we were with you, like a mother taking care of her children. Because of our love for you we were ready to share with you not only the Good News from God but even our own lives. You were so dear to us!” Through this kindness, care and goodness, everything that was hard and cold was crushed, and the church could grow up in true brotherly love as children of the light, waiting for Jesus’ return.
“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient …” 2 Timothy 2:24. It is very easy to quarrel or argue with someone. Often one starts raising one’s voice, judging, criticising and accusing, and very soon a spirit of lying comes in.
“Fools show all their anger, but the wise hold it back.” Proverbs 29:11 (CEB). A gentle and wise tongue can calm many outbursts of anger and can keep many marriages from breaking up.
David said about Saul and Jonathan that they were mighty warriors, but were beloved and gentle in life. David himself was the same, only much more than them. In 2 Samuel 22:35-36 he says, “He teaches my hands to make war … Your gentleness has made me great.” What makes a person great is when he overcomes evil with good. Jesus was both a lion and a lamb.
Joseph is a great example of kindness, goodness, and forgiving people and making peace. He had the power to take revenge when he met his brothers again in Egypt, but goodness overcame the evil. When he told his brothers who he was, he began to cry so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, even in Pharaoh’s house. When he sent his brothers home to fetch their father, Jacob, he said, “See that you do not argue along the way.” This should not happen on such an important journey on which they had been sent – on the way to their father.
When we think about our important “journey” on the way to our heavenly Father, we should be deeply ashamed of every thought of disunity and conflict. (Read Genesis 45.)
Kind words come from a pure and good heart. The Father taught Jesus what to say so that He could refresh tired people with His Word. (Isaiah 50:4.) Such words are much needed to help and comfort others. Kind words are precious.
“The heart of the wise man is the teacher of his mouth, and gives increased learning to his lips. Pleasing words are like honey, sweet to the soul and new life to the bones.” Proverbs 16:23-24 (BBE).
Read the Apostle Paul’s letter to Philemon. It is another example of a letter filled with words of kindness and goodness. May God give us much grace to use the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and a gentle and kind tongue in the right spirit and at the right time.