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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Fruit of the Spirit, continued
But now you must 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. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 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 whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:8-13—NIV)
What Paul means by kindness is revealed by its association with compassion, humility, gentleness, and patience. Also the idea of bearing with each other and forgiving grievances we have against one another.
The opposite of kindness then would be lack of compassion, pride, harshness, and impatience.
God is kind toward us.
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, (Titus 3:3-5—NIV)
If we would be in the image of Christ we too must be kind, not practicing malice, envy, or hatred.
Kindness is one aspect of the fruit of the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is . . . kindness, . . . . (Galatians 5:22,23—NIV)
Kindness is not a fruit of our adamic nature. By nature we are malicious, envious, and hateful. But as we learn to live in the Spirit, putting to death the natural malice, envy, and hatred found in our personality, the fruit of kindness is borne.
A year or so ago a member of the United States Congress resigned. He said the struggle with other congressmen over passing laws had at one time been enjoyable. But now, he said, there was a spirit of meanness. It no longer was merely challenging and exciting to clash mental swords with his opponents. Malice and hatred were coming to the fore. And so he resigned.
Something is happening America. The number of murders taking place is staggering. What is worse, perhaps, is that so many of the murders are being committed by young people—even by children. Some of the murderers are so young there are no criminal laws that apply, no facilities for controlling murderers who still are in the second or third grade in school.
It used to be in America that when two boys got into a fight the result was a wrestling or boxing match. In a week or two they were friends again. Now one shoots the other or stabs him to death.
It used to be in America that when automobile drivers got on one another's nerves they would honk or swear at one another. Now they kill the person who has cut in front of them.
It used to be in America that when husbands and wives got into a dispute they would yell and sometimes swear at each other. The wife might throw a dish or two. The husband might strike his wife.
Now one shoots the other, and then shoots the policeman who comes to settle matters.
To be continued.