“Would you be so kind as to give us a drink of water from your well?” Someone needed the fruit of kindness.
My mother passed down a story told by her grandmother, who grew up on a farm located on a dusty, rural road. At that time, many people walked wherever they went, having no access to any type of transportation.
One hot summer day, a family traveling on foot stopped by my great-grandparents’ farm for a drink of well water. My great-grandparents welcomed them and offered them water and lemonade. My great-grandparents also gave them food, which the family ate while resting in the shade of a big elm tree. When this family left, they did not leave empty-handed. My great-grandparents sent them on their way with a container of cool water and the remainder of the food. This would refresh them as they continued their journey.
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. ~Hebrews 13:2 NIV
Only God knows the eternal consequences of my great-grandmother’s kind act. What if she had looked at the travelers and decided not to offer refreshments to them? However, she did not turn these strangers away. In the process, she even showed her children and grandchildren how kindness looks.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. ~Proverbs 31:26 ESV
When I was a child, my parents and teachers encouraged me and my siblings to be kind to others in all situations. Society has changed a lot since those days. Presently, we are unlikely to invite perfect strangers into our backyards and serve them refreshments. But we can show kindness in other ways. Kindness reveals character.
Parents can instill kindness in their children by speaking positively about others. Children learn to gossip when they hear unkindness in the words of their parents and other adults. When we speak kind words about others, we teach our children to love people. Our goal should entail teaching them to speak words of hope and encouragement to and about others.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. ~Galatians 5:22-23a CEB
The opportunities for us to exhibit kindness come daily. I have listed several examples below.
Grocery store checkout lines frustrate me because I normally get in the slow lines. I can let everyone around me know just how busy I am and that I absolutely do not have time for this. On the other hand, I can notice people in front and behind me and offer them a smile and a kind word.
At church, we have many opportunities to welcome visitors. When someone sits alone, we can introduce ourselves and sit with them during the service. A number of years ago, I accepted a position in a church where I knew no one. The pastor asked me to attend on the Sunday before I began as a staff member. He wanted to introduce me to the congregation. As soon as I arrived, a lady sat on the pew beside me and introduced herself. I’ll never forget the kindness she showed me.
In what ways can you show kindness this week?
Father God, show me how to share Your love with others as Jesus did while He lived on earth. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2020: The Fruit of Kindness: Evelyn Mason Wells: All Rights Reserved