Yes, I am from the south where the oozy sweetness in tone, comment and action can easily be misused to be a sour experience and possibly filled with unkindness. That is not what Paul meant in Galatians when he explained the fruits of the spirit. He listed 8 attributes which over lap and reflect the love of God. Many times in scripture there are attributes listed with Love being the key one, after all God is love with all of the other attributes reflecting love in a different way. And with the different types of love, the ways of showing love grow exponentially. But when I take what I feel are the 4 top types of that love that radiate from the heart [ Eros – passionate love, Storge – Family love, Philia – Friendship love and Agape – Selfless/God’s love] they reflect all of the combining fruits of the spirit [Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Goodness, and Self Control]. But to me you can not have any of these without kindness. Kindness is a deliberate act by an individual to behave in such a manor that the recipient can feel the genuine love of God from the individual or at least be confused by the behavior as it was not deserved. For instance, if someone says or acts mean toward you and you choose to still be kind, it can diffuse a volatile situation or at a minimal create an opportunity to open a door for you to explain why kindness is so very vital. But if the door does not get opened, still continue to be kind. Kindness eventually wins when it is honest from the heart.
True heartfelt kindness should be spread wherever you go. It doesn’t cost anything but your time and willingness to share it. So this week I challenge you to think about being kind to a friend, a stranger or even to an animal.