Fruitful 6: Kindness

How is the fruit of 'kindness' different to 'goodness'? In this sixth study we'll see what kindness means for the attitudes of our hearts.

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Video notes

  • Kindness and goodness often confused and ideas are very similar
  • “Kindness is a sincere desire for the happiness of others; goodness is the activity calculated to advance that happiness.” Jerry Bridges, The Fruitful Life, p99 (Navpress, 2006)
  • Kindness on this basis is private and internal; goodness is public and external
  • Kindness is a heart attitude that wants the best for others
  • It also includes tenderness and compassion
  • It is possible for others to see our ‘good’ deeds but from them to come from impure motives, e.g. pride or looking for something in return (lack of grace)
  • In the long run good deeds cannot be sustained without a transformed heart (Luke 6:45)
  • Evaluation of our motives is complex and painful, but a necessary part of sanctification

Questions to think about

  1. Ask yourself honestly what you desire for others? It is their happiness and to see them flourish?
  2. Think of ‘good’ things you have done recently: what motivated you?
  3. How can we challenge and encourage one another to be kind when it is a heart thing?

Prayer ideas

  • Spend some time rejoicing in the Lord’s abundant heart towards you
  • Confess your sinful motives and ask for God’s Spirit to transform your own heart.
  • Pray especially for those you find it hard to feel tender and compassionate towards.

Further passages to reflect on

1 Samuel 25 for an example of someone with a kind heart

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