The Fruit of Kindness' Sweet Taste
January 20, 2017
By John Park
1 Listen to the word of the Lord, O sons of Israel, For the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land, Because there is no faithfulness or kindness Or knowledge of God in the land.
8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
It’s one thing to be nice and another to be kind. There is a difference. “Niceness” may imply weakness or softness as we're told “Nice guys finish last.”
Kindness is far from that. Kindness stands at the intersection of compassion and conviction. Kindness is not merely being “nice,” nor is it the absence of any firm conviction and belief. If you go down the street of conviction in the opposite direction of kindness, you get rigidity and narrow-mindedness that make tactics our tongues turn aggressive and harsh towards people who may not share the same convictions as us. That is unkindness.
If you go down the street of compassion in the opposite direction, you get niceness without any courage, conviction and soul. Barry Corey writes in his book “Love Kindness:”
Niceness trims its sails to prevailing cultural wind and wanders aimlessly, standing for nothing and thereby falling for everything.
That too is unkindness. When the streets of compassion and conviction intersect, you arrive at kindness. Kindness is tenderhearted, merciful, fierce, strong, courageous and full of conviction all at the same time. God demonstrates this kind of kindness to His people. Such kindness is embodied in the Person of Jesus Christ. And kindness is sweet when it grows on the tree of those who have the Holy Spirit inside them.
To “love kindness” as Micah 6:8 says is not merely to perform random acts of kindness, but it is to make kindness a way of life for it is the way of Christ. Kindness may be calling you to repent for going too far down in the opposite direction of compassion and conviction as it's God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. Kindness may be calling you to enter into conversation and life with people who have a different perspective than you.
However, the fruit of kindness manifests itself in our lives when we reflect and honor Christ and it opens doors for what we say about Him and the Gospel.