Kindness: the Way Out of Mean

Friends, the next trait in our Monday study of the fruit of the Spirit is kindness.

I needed this trait SO badly on Saturday night and failed. I found myself in the middle of a tiff between two family members. Instead of being sympathetic and helping to be part of the solution, I chose to fall into the pit of “mean”. Nothing can ruin a good weekend night like the pit of mean.

When all of the emotions were brewing, I didn’t put myself in the other person’s place. I didn’t follow God’s command from Matthew 7:12 to treat others the way I want to be treated.

In Galatians 5:22 – 23, where the fruit of the Spirit is listed, the word translated kindness is the Greek word chrestotes. In my New Testament Lexical Aid is says that chrestotes means useful, profitable and the opposite of apotomia – severity or cutting something short and quickly.

Oooooo…does that smart! I don’t know about you, but I know there are times when my family members would say I have treated them with severity and have cut them short. How about when they are rambling about the teacher at school, how unfair the grading scale is or how mean that girl at lunch is…again? Especially when dealing with our kids, because their troubles are often repetitive as they are maturing, it is so easy to become exasperated…and cut them off short and quick.

Let’s ask the Lord today, for the Holy Spirit to empower us to have kindness flowing from us to those around us. May He couple the trait of last month, patience, and use us to be kind when harsh is the easier way.



  1. Lynn – I appreciate all your posts and they help me to find direction for my prayers. I am literally so busy with taking care of my family and my work that I don’t often post a comment, but I’m making the time today. Lately I have not always felt very kind toward my adult child. She is dealing with the fallout of previous sin, and her need to take responsibility for the outcomes has affected our whole family, including two younger children (ages 8 and 12). Needless to say, kindness and patience are necessary, but hard to provide at times. My “resolution” for 2013 is to keep uppermost in my mind that I am a sinner saved by grace. God deals patiently and kindly with me despite my shortcomings; so He must be my example. I lean on Him daily to provide the strength to do what I must do.

  2. It can be hard to be patient and kind when we’ve heard some of the same complaints from several children many times. But I do want to encourage and be a good listener. God help me!

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