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