The Fruit of the Spirit #5:
Text: Gal. 5:22-23
Thesis: To examine the “what” and “how” of kindness that is to be manifested by Christians.
(1) Kindness is a quality that is lacking by many today (e.g., At approximately 3:20 on the morning of March 13, 1964, twenty-eight-year-old Ms Catherine (Kitty) Genovese was returning to her home in a nice middle-class area of Queens, NY, from her job as a bar manager. She parked her red Fiat in a nearby parking lot, turned-off the lights and started the walk to her second floor apartment some 35 yards away. She got as far as a streetlight when a man grabbed her. She screamed. Lights went on in the 10-floor apartment building nearby. She yelled, “Oh, my God, he stabbed me! Please help me!” Windows opened in the apartment building and a man’s voice shouted, “Let that girl alone.” The attacker looked up, shrugged and walked-off down the street. Ms Genovese struggled to get to her feet. Lights went back off in the apartments. The attacker came back and stabbed her again. She again cried out, “I’m dying! I’m dying!” And again the lights came on and windows opened in many of the nearby apartments. The assailant again left and got into his car and drove away. Ms Genovese staggered to her feet as a city bus drove by. It was now 3:35 a.m. The attacker returned once again. He found her in a doorway at the foot of the stairs and he stabbed her a third time--this time with a fatal consequence. It was 3:50 when the police received the first call. They responded quickly and within two minutes were at the scene. Ms Genovese was already dead. The only person to call, a neighbor of Ms Genovese, revealed that he had phoned only after much thought and an earlier phone call to a friend. He said, “I didn’t want to get involved.”; 38 people did nothing).
(2) As Christians, we are to be clothed with kindness (Col. 3:12; cf. Eph. 4:32a.).
(3) Let us look at what kindness is and how we should manifest it to others.
I. What is kindness?
A. It is more than just feeling bad for someone.
B. It is more than just words (James 2:14-17).
C. It is more than just loving those who love you (Matt. 5:46-48).
D. It is love in action.
1. “The pity that wells up in us after watching a television documentary about starving children is not kindness. Kindness is the strength to take the starving child in your arms and feed it at your own breast. Kindness is the power to heal a leper by washing his wounds with your own hands. Kindness is the power to bear another’s burdens by feeling his pain in your own soul” (L.B. Smedes 16).
2. The kindness of God = Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:6-7; Titus 3:4-5).
II. How do we manifest kindness?
- Matt. 5:31-46
Ø The common, ordinary small stuff of daily life
Ø Treat others as you would Jesus
(1) In the 2000 movie, Pay It Forward, Trevor McKinney (played by Haley Joel Osment), for a school project, came up with the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward--repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. Throughout the movie, you see the many positive effects that this has upon various people. At the end of the movie, Trevor is killed because of his choosing to be involved in defending a fellow student. Then, the people who had been positively affected by Trevor’s idea show up to pay their respects.
(2) The point is: Kindness makes all of the difference in the world.