Posted by: Bishop Neil Jansen
We have heard many times that God is love and God’s love is all-encompassing. This love of God has revealed itself since the beginning. We have known it, received it, and experienced it in so many ways that it is impossible to keep count. The greatest and most far-reaching part of this love is that God offers it freely to all of humankind and substantiates it with the offer of salvation.
The Bible tells us that the love of God was poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit; this is when the fruit of the spirit begins to develop within us (CNAC 8.3.9). As this development takes place, we become more and more like Christ.
Kindness and Goodness are both very unique elements of spiritual fruit. The very fact that they are referenced as spiritual fruit places their origin in the triune God.
Kindness and Goodness are separate elements but are very closely linked together, so much so that I don’t think that you can really have one without the other. The Bible references the kindness and goodness of God many times in His relationship to man.
Kindness and Goodness are the result of and a reaction to the feelings and emotions that have also developed in us such as love, compassion, empathy, and sympathy. We would say that these are feelings that we experience when our heart has been touched.
All around the world today we are overwhelmed by this terrible virus COVID-19. It is called a pandemic because it has reached around the world. Death and disease have no regard for people no matter what nationality, religion, or race. In a way, it reminds me of the time of Moses and the tenth plague (the shadow of death), every family was subject to it.
Today I want to express the thankfulness, joy, and appreciation that I feel and I hope that we all feel the same. Not just as Christians but as humans we see the Kindness and Goodness that is being experienced everywhere. Nations, governments, media, front line workers, help organizations raising or donating to help wherever they can. We hear them all being prayed for in every divine service. We should be so thankful especially as God’s children that through today’s technology we can be provided for spiritually and that we are connected together.
As you can see Kindness and Goodness are an amazing and wonderful Fruit of the Spirit. We have always received it from our triune God but today we experience it through human beings too. Remember, God wants all people to be saved, that is the greatness of His love, His kindness, and His goodness and this must also be in us. Please remember, pray for everyone.
Previous articles in the Fruit of the Spirit series include Love and Joy
(District Elder Emery Jan 15/20), and Peace and Longsuffering
(Bishop Voeun Mar 1/20).