The Gift That Keeps On Giving

We can't give what we don't have. If people have a hard time being kind it is probably because they don't know how kind God has been toward them.

It is probably safe to say most of us after receiving a gift we love hang on to that gift for a long time. There are things in my house I have had for years because they were gifts that contain sentimental value from my childhood. I still have my little league baseball jerseys, skateboards, karate uniform from when I was 8 years old, baseball bats, and the list goes on. These things I hope to give my son one day.

As much as I love certain things I have chosen to live with an open hand. This means I understand Jesus is Lord of my life and everything I own is His. I am simply a steward of His stuff. Because it is His, He can tell me to give it away at any time and I'd gladly do so.

There is a gift God has given humanity that is amazing. Unlike other gifts we enjoy and want to keep for ourselves, this gift compels the recipient to share itself with others. This is a gift that keeps on giving. This wonderful gift can only be found in a relationship with Jesus. The gift I'm talking about is kindness.

Let's take a moment and dream a little together. Close your eyes for 60 seconds with me and imagine what the world would be like if everyone was kind. What did you see? How did you feel? What did a kind world look like? I believe we can have a world you just imagined. I believe we can live in a world full of smiles and good deeds. It starts with you and me. Here are a few things about kindness that will help us accomplish the construction of a kind world.

Kindness is a free gift

"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:30-32

In Ephesians we discover the Holy Spirit has emotions just like we do. He like us can be grieved. All of us at some point in our life have been sad or experienced a heavy heart. Here we find what saddens the Holy Spirit. He is grieved when we choose to mistreat each other with gossip. It makes Him sad when we hold onto bitterness and choose not to forgive others. He gets a heavy heart when we are angry at each other. In other words, the Holy Spirit gets sad when we are unkind. So if these actions make Him sad, it is probably safe to say when we choose to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving toward each other He gets excited and happy!

The key to being kind is found in verse 32, "even as God in Christ forgave you." We can't give what we don't have. If people have a hard time being kind it is probably because they don't know how kind God has been toward them. A person must first receive kindness before they can give it away. We are able to love only because God first loved us. God is the supplier of kindness. We receive of Him and then give away what He has so graciously given. Kindness is a free gift from God and carries no ulterior motives. 

Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Kindness is a spiritual fruit. This means it is a product of the Holy Spirit working in and through our lives. The more we grow spiritually by spending time in God's word the more capacity we have for kindness to function in us.

Before I gave my life to Jesus Christ I was a broken, miserable, teenager headed for trouble. I was in a hopeless place just like everyone else who is spiritually dead. I went to church one Sunday night and during the worship music I started crying uncontrollably. It was a good cry. I was experiencing a love, a peace I had never experienced before. I knew it was God because the worship team was singing about how wonderful Jesus was to them. I felt as if I was in God's arms and I didn't want that moment to ever end. I made a decision in that moment to surrender my life to Jesus.

After that encounter with Jesus, my life was changed forever. I was made a new creation, born of the Spirit of God in an instance. After leaving the church that night, I knew a changed had taken place because I immediately wanted to help people. There was this kindness coming from my heart I hadn't experienced. The Spirit of God was producing the fruit of kindness in my life and it hasn't stopped since that time.

The only way kindness can operate in your life is by God's Spirit. The more you grow spiritually the more this wonderful fruit will be evident in your life.

Kindness is a spiritual garment

"Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long suffering." Colossians 3:12

Kindness is a spiritual garment we choose to either wear or take off; this is a daily decision. Colossians instructs us to put kindness on. Notice it is the elect of God that wears kindness. I think this is so because we don't always feel like being kind. Personally, there are days I wake up and don't feel like getting out of the bed or greeting my wife with a smile. On these mornings I have to remind my self to put on kindness.

I have to choose not to give into my emotions but instead be led by God's Spirit. So I give God a "thank you Jesus for this day!" A thankful heart puts things in the right perspective and produces joy. Once joy is present, you don't have to look far for kindness. You'll look around and notice your all ready wearing it.  

With Christmas being around the corner, now is a great time to be kind. People need your favor and some need your mercy. God has been merciful to you and given you His favor even though you didn't deserve it. Kindness is to be given to people not because they deserve it but because they are loved. Kindness is a fruit of love that was freely given to us by God so we could freely give it away to others. A kind world is possible. Let's begin the construction of it today by giving kindness away!

B. Burnam