by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Romans 12:9-21
I. When a person walks as the Spirit directs, it produces a fruit that has many attributes - Galatians 5:13-25
A. We will focus on one of those attributes today: kindness.
B. chrestotes is a form of the word for usefulness. It means kindness, goodness, or honesty
C. God is both good and does good. He teaches us to do the same - Psalms 119:68
1. It is from God’s goodness that we are saved from sin - Psalms 25:7-8
2. Compared to God, none of us are good - Psalms 14:1,3
D. Notice that in Galatians 5:22 that both kindness and goodness appear. Kindness is chrestotes, while goodness here is another word: agathosune.
1. The prime difference is kindness involves mildness or gentleness.
2. This brings a stronger contrast in Romans 11:22, where goodness (or kindness) is chrestotes.
E. Gentleness is a quality of God’s teaching - James 3:17
1. Peaceable, gentle, and reasonable
2. Alexander McClaren: “Kindness does not require us to be blind to facts or to live in fancies, but it does require us to cherish a habit of goodwill, ready to show pity if sorrow appears, and slow to turn away even if hostility appears.”
F. Gentleness is how we treat our fellow man - Titus 3:2
G. Kindness eliminates the hardness and bitterness from our lives.
II. Gentleness manifests a deep and genuine concern for others.
A. One man complained of the English writer Samuel Johnson that “the way to get a favor from him was to do him an injury.” Johnson was kind, praying for his enemies, ready to forgive them.
1. This is how Jesus instructed us to act - Matthew 5:44-48
2. Similarly, servants are to be submissive to good, kind masters as well as the difficult ones. - I Peter 2:18
3. Kindness is not reserved only for those who treat us well
B. Paul was kind to the Thessalonians - I Thessalonians 2:5-8
C. We are not just referring to major deeds, but including the small acts that help smooth other people’s way.
D. David sought to be kind to the family of the man who sought to kill him - II Samuel 9:3
III. Kindness is tightly bound to respect
A. A gentle person deals with other people with integrity.
B. A lack of kindness, a harshness in disposition, causes some to react to others in a patronizing or condescending way.
C. If we are to give the teaching of the Lord a chance, we must be gentle in our approach to others - II Timothy 2:24-26
D. Paul taught the mercy of God by kindness - II Corinthians 6:1-10
IV. Kindness is always linked with mercy. It is impossible to be kind without being merciful.
A. God showed His great kindness towards us through His mercy - Psalms 117:1-2
B. He so loved us that He sent His son to die on our behalf - Ephesians 2:4-7
C. Titus 3:4-7 - Through God’s mercy and kindness are we saved
D. Truly every good gift has come from our Father - James 1:17
E. Do not snub God by rejecting His kind gifts - Romans 2:4
V. When we get out-of-sorts with our families, brethren, neighbors, or even possibly ourselves; remember that the Christian is kind, he is gentle in his dealings with others.
A. Put on kindness - Colossians 3:12-13
B. It is God’s gentleness that make us great - Psalms 18:35-36
by Patience Strong
The finest music in the world,
the sweetest and the best,
Is the music of kind words,
in loving thought expressed.
The tender language of the heart,
the universal tongue,
Striking sympathetic chords
in minds of old and young.
Understood by saints and sinners,
foolish men and wise,
In every race and every land
beneath God’s broad blue skies.
The gentle voice, the friendly tone,
words kindly and sincere,
Seem to fall like golden music
on the listening ear.
When we hear a word of love,
of hope, or charity,
We seem to catch an echo
of angelic melody.
Lovelier than the flutes of spring,
or trill of singing birds . . .
Sweetest music in the world -
the music of kind words.