But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Gal 5:22-23)
It is the Holy Spirit that produces fruit, which can be seen and tasted by everyone around us. But what is the difference between goodness and kindness?
On July 12, Faith Yeo shared in Eaglepoint Puchong about the fruit of goodness and fruit of kindness.
In her journey of searching for their definition, she found out that the twin-banana best describes the occurrence of these two fruit. Like how you get two bananas in one sack, goodness and kindess also come as one pair! In other words, goodness and kindness always coexist.
Hence, the goodness in us always results in kindness in what we do and say.
For example, Faith shared about the goodness of her sister is shown when her sister never complained about sharing a bed with her, despite her kicking-habit during sleep.
Nevertheless, despite sister’s kindness, Faith shared that no illustrations beat the goodness and kindness shown by our Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16-17, Titus 3:4-6).
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior. (Titus 3:4-6)
Indeed, there are many physical benefits of being kind! Watch the video below.
In fact, the Bible asked us to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, readiness to forgive, perseverance, and love. (Col 3:12-14)
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Col 3:12-14)
Hence, like how we choose our #OOTD (Outfit of the Day) according to our preference and the weather, we need to also choose to clothe ourselves with the best #OOTD, which are kindness and goodness.
Faith shared the days when she worked in the Taylor’s University Student Development Hub. She would train her students in a leadership camp using God’s value. And one of the camp traditions is to have each student draw a number that would determine the lunch they would have in varying degrees, from a full set meal to only having bread. At the end of the camp, she hoped to instill the value of sharing.
“What makes us different as believers in Christ is clothing ourselves with kindness and goodness,” said Faith; firstly, by choosing God’s nature, and secondly, by counting on God’s strength.
The truth is that there are many choices we can make in our life. We can choose to be selfish, unforgiving, angry, or slanderous, or we can choose to be kind, generous, patient, and forgiving. It’s very important for us to recognize what we wear everyday; either we wear our sinful nature or we wear God’s nature.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.
You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (Col 3:5-10)
What kind of nature does God want us to have? God wants us to put on our new self, based on the image of God. (Col 3:5-10)
How are we to emulate the image of God? Jesus said the greatest commandment of all is to firstly, love our God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind; and secondly, to love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27). When Jesus was asked who this neighbor was, He replied by telling the parable of the Good Samaritan.
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.
A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Are we only being kind with people we like to be with, people we are courting, people who give us benefits, or only those who are convenient for us to help?
From this parable, Faith shared that we can see two different perspectives. While the priest and the Levite asked, “What would happen to me if I helped?” the Samaritan asked, “What would happen to this man if I don’t help?” The first thing the priest asked is to prioritize himself, but the first thing that came into the mind of the Samaritan is the needs of others’ first.
Also, you may ask, “Why do I want to put on burdens or troubles helping other people when I have so many things on hand?” After all, putting on clothes connote placing on us a weight or a burden.
Interestingly enough, Faith found that kindness in Greek (‘Chrestos’) means a spirit of care for others, a desire to make someone else’s life better, and a carrying of burden. Now that we know kindness does involve carrying other people’s burden, how do we carry this burden of other people with so many burdens of our own already? Jesus gives the answer in Matt 11:28-30.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30)
The Greek word for ‘easy’ in Matt 11:30 is the same word for kindness! In other words, this means that God wants to share His load with us. Hence, it is not about how much you can solve another person’s problem but it is Jesus helping you carry the problem of other’s.
Faith shared how her heart would be torn when poor college students would tell her that they had to quit college because the fees were too expensive to bear. In her heart, she wished to become a billionaire, so she could solve all their financial problems. But upon thinking, how many students can she help? If she could help one student, what about the other students who have the same problem as well.
At that time, she felt God speaking to her, “The person must know the ultimate Provider in his or her life. This is because the person who knows Jesus is far richer than a billionaire.” God can provide for you till the end of your life!
“I clothe myself with Jesus to let people know truly who Jesus is so that people will be able to experience the goodness and kindness of God through me.
“Remember every morning, when you want to choose what to wear today, choose God’s nature and also counting on his strength so that you can go beyond what you can imagine,” said Faith.
When you put on clothes on yourself, think: Does it make you a better person? Do you reflect the image of Christ? Does it tell people who Jesus is?
What you wear tells people who Jesus is in their hearts! It determines their OOTD—outcome of their destiny—of spending eternity in Heaven with our Lord Jesus.
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