I enjoy a nicely phrased admonition, and one that I like is, “Practice random acts of kindness.” Perhaps this came from Anne Herbert who said, “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” Nevertheless the practical streak in me says, “Practice constant acts of kindness.”
Kindness is among the fruits of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22, 23. Each of the nine qualities of character listed in that passage shows itself as a response to the events and encounters of every day life. Fruit doesn’t have to try to grow itself, but in a sense the entire tree works to grow the fruit. If we are in Christ, our growth and manifestation of fruit comes from Him. We can be constant and consistent because kindness is produced in us by the Holy Spirit. When we are indwelled by Him, He opens our hearts to people and we will certainly be kind toward them. We will manifest not only kindness but love, joy, peace, longsuffering, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Have you ever noticed that considerate and generous people are consistent? They are kind by nature. Their kindness is intentional and deliberate, but not selfconscious. If you pointed out that characteristic in their lives, they might be puzzled and ask: “How else should we treat one another?”
Maneuvering about San Francisco in a van is sometimes awkward, but I find most drivers to be considerate. Many will wave me ahead and give up their right of way. But occasionally we encounter another type of driver who is rude. You’ve experienced it, too; you are out driving and someone cuts in front of you on the highway. Some drivers are so belligerent and unkind so that you wonder what kind of spirit or spirits might be in them.
Some people might be kind by nature, but Y’shua (Jesus) has transformed us. He makes kind people kinder. The new birth truly initiates a new life, but that life is not our own—it is the Holy Spirit striving to make us like Y’shua. And as we become more like Him by the power of His Spirit, kindness is not a random act; it is a policy.