Fruits of the Holy Spirit

89/365 days of blogging.

Pt. 5 The Fruit of the Spirit is “Kindness”

Introduction: Galatians 5:22 tells us that another fruit of the Spirit is kindness. How much do you appreciate it when people are kind to you? In the rough and tumble of life, all of us notice and appreciate kind people. If you continue reading beyond the list of the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians, you come to Galatians 6:7. That verse tells us that we reap what we sow. By being kind to others, we cultivate kindness towards us. The question is, how do we become kind?

  1.          Deserved Kindness
    1. Read 2 Samuel 9:1. What was David’s motivation to show kindness?
      1. Read 1 Samuel 20:16-17. What was at the bottom of this concern for David?
    2. Read 2 Samuel 9:2-3. What kind of power and influence did this son of Jonathan possess?
    3. David sent for this son, whose name is Mephibosheth. Read 2 Samuel 9:6-8. Was Mephibosheth afraid of David? If so, why?
      1. What is your answer to Mephibosheth’s question about noticing a dead dog?
    4. David shows kindness to a dead man’s son. David has nothing further to gain by this kindness, and, it turns out, a lot to lose (see 2 Samuel 16:3-4). What lessons can we learn about kindness from this story?
  2.      Undeserved Kindness
    1. Read Matthew 5:43-48. How does the story of David and Mephibosheth fit into this teaching of Jesus?
      1. What is Jesus teaching us about love (and kindness) in this text?
      2. Does this teaching apply to your marriage?
        1. Is this easy?
    2. What have we learned so far about kindness?

3.   Humility and Kindness

Can you remember a time when you deliberately withheld kindness from someone else?

  1. If so, take a moment and try to figure out why?
  2. Read Matthew 11:28-30. We studied this text last week, but I want to come back to it. Do you think being gentle is something like being kind?
    1. Do you think humility is related to being kind?
    2. If not, go back to the time when you deliberately withheld kindness from someone. Was it because you were angry or unhappy with that person? Was it because you thought helping that person was “beneath” you?
    3. If your answer to either of these questions is, “yes,” would humility (on your part) have solved the problem? (Yes!)
      1. For example, how many times are you angry or unhappy because someone has humiliated you?
      2. If you were more humble, would you still think you were “above” someone else?
  3. You may be coming to the conclusion that humility is one of the keys to being kind. Since Jesus tells us to learn to be “gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29), how would you learn to be humble? It is, after all, a learned trait according to Jesus! (One way to become humble is to be humiliated.)
    1. Let’s look at our discussion so far. David showed kindness to Jonathan’s son because Jonathan first showed kindness to David. But, Jesus teaches us to show kindness to everyone – including those who insult us (Matthew 5:43-46).
      1. What is the benefit of being insulted?
      2. Can you see now why Jesus told us to learn to be gentle and humble?
  1.    Gentle Tongues
    1. Read Proverbs 15:1 and Proverbs 25:15. Last week we studied patience, now we study being kind. Can you break bones with your tongue?
      1. What would be a “gentle tongue?”
      2. In your experience, does a gentle answer keep the other person from being angry?
    2. In Matthew 12 we find that the religious leaders accused Jesus of using the power of Satan to do His miracles. Read Matthew 12:34 and Matthew 23:33. Has Jesus forgotten the gentle answer proverb? Is this what Jesus had in mind when He said to “greet” our enemies: “Hello, viper! Burn in hell.”
      1. How does the idea of being humble fit into the “Hello viper” response?
    3. How many times have you used sharp words, or a witty, harsh response, to show that you are smarter than your opponent?
      1. How does that fit into humility?
    4. When Jesus tells us to “learn from Me” (Matthew 11:29) does that mean we can do exactly as He did?
    5. Being kind is something that we can learn through the power of the Holy Spirit. The path of learning kindness involves love and humility. Will you, right now, invite the Holy Spirit to develop love, humility and kindness in your heart?

V.       Next week: The Fruit of the Spirit is Goodness.

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