“Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” Luke 10:36-37
What are some things that come to mind when you think about kindness? How about these: mercy, love, compassion, service. God has showed his children much kindness.
Isaiah 63:7-8 lets us know that it is because of his kindness (NIV) that he became our savior. In the ESV, the words are “steadfast love”. Wow- what an awesome God! Can you imagine showing mercy, love, compassion, and kindness to someone who kept wronging you over and over again? That is what God has done for us.
Remember his kindness each and every day. We also are to be kind to one another. The Good Samaritan is a wonderful Biblical example of kindness (Luke 10:29-37). The Samaritans were hated by Jews, yet he took care of a wounded stranger, a Jew, and helped provide for his healing. Remember, as we are kind to one another, we are serving the Lord.
The “artificial fruit” is manipulative kindness, in other words- seeking approval. The goal of this is self-glory. Think about your motives; are they selfish? That shouldn’t stop you from doing a kind act, but prayer over WHY you are being kind to someone can help prevent this artificial fruit. As you might expect, the “weed” is selfishness. Selfishness is rooted in pride. Pride is SO hard to overcome. But remember, our salvation has nothing to do with us- Ephesians 2:8-9 lets us know that it is “by grace that we have been saved through faith…not of your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that NO ONE MAY BOAST”.
God loved us first. With selfishness and pride comes unkindness. Unkindness does not let us love God or our neighbor. Think about Jonah. You cannot feed your ego and look out for others at the same time. So how do we combat selfishness, manipulative kindness, and approval seeking? They seem pervasive! Remember God is our true vine (John 15). Psalm 139:23-24 is a wonderful prayer to help us with the attitude of our hearts. He will help us become more like him, and bear fruit each and every day. What a wonderful Savior!
Do you know about God’s kindness?
Further Reading: Luke 10:29-37