Mark Affleck

No, You Cannot Manufacture Kindness!

March 18, 2021
Spiritual Growth

We’re a couple of weeks into exploring the need to recognize our INADEQUACY without God and I can feel the Holy Spirit working in my life and in the lives of many other members of this ministry’s 1.2 million-strong global online tribe. The comments and questions that are coming in bear that out. Here’s an interesting one: “I am beginning to trust God more than me, but even though I’m trying hard, I struggle with being kind.”
Let’s start with what kindness is for a Christian.
Jesus modeled kindness as a character trait that came out of him every day of his ministry. Even while suffering a painful death by crucifixion, Jesus reacted with kindness by praying for his adversaries.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
HOWEVER…this brand of kindness cannot be summoned by “focusing and trying hard.” Even if we could pull off that impossible feat, the result would be nothing more than “being nice.” And the spirit of kindness is far more than being nice.
We live out the spirit of Christ-like KINDNESS by recognizing our INADEQUACY without God and going to him and his Word to wash our soul with truth. It is then that fruit-of-the-Spirit KINDNESS comes OUT…because it’s already IN.
Unlike feelings of happiness that come in and out of our life, fruit-of-the-Spirit KINDNESS has nothing to do with things going “good or bad” along our journey. Godly kindness comes as a gift from the Holy Spirit and it transcends our circumstances.
Living with Christ-like KINDNESS is tough when we reject the Holy Spirit as the source of our kindness and try to inject ourselves with some kind of “kindness juice.”
Christ-like KINDNESS comes when we focus on God’s overarching purpose for our life and not the circumstantial ebb and flow of daily living. It comes when we stop trying to manufacture it on our own. It comes when we embrace God’s truth to rejoice.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4
I ask God to help me treat others with the kindness that only his Spirit can produce. And I thank him for the kindness he shows me through his loving gifts of mercy and grace.
Do you naturally default to a kind spirit or are you more likely to get caught up in the circumstances of the moment?
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12

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