(A series about the Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5)
by Jeremy Nixon
An elderly man, almost empty on life, walked up and said, “Excuse me, sir.”
At this point most people would dash for the car and duck into their comfy lifestyle of “I’m better than that person. I sure wouldn’t be caught talking to him!” The young man, though, without hesitation said, “Hey, how are you?”
The feeble old man, with one eye wired shut, said, “I was wondering if you could feed me?” He ducked his head. You could see the disappointment and sadness that had overcome him, and he couldn’t believe that he was actually having to do this. Tears ran out of his left eye.
Let’s face it. We drive by people like this all the time. What do you honestly think when you drive past someone like this? Do you see Christ in them, or do you just pass by and be happy with yourself and what you think you’ve accomplished in life? In Colossians 3:12, Paul says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves in compassion, KINDNESS, humility, gentleness and patience.” When confronted with situations like this…do you show kindness or do you just ignore them? You see, when you set your eyes on the kingdom, God changes how you live on this earth. And I’ll be honest, this hits home and has me trying to figure out what my eyes are fixed on. Your love for God pushes you to love others, and when you do this you “clothe” yourself in kindness.
Back to the story.
“Where do you want to eat?” asked the young man. He had just finished eating.
The older gentleman said, “White Castle.”
“White Castle it is!” the young man shouted. They walked across a busy intersection, dodging cars…all the while people staring and poking fun. The two men talked, and they ordered food…a lot of food for the older gentleman. They talked more, then the older man was on his way, the young man was on his way.
Before you believe, you see kindness…you see love. Luke 19:10 says, “Christ came to seek and save those who are lost.” That’s it. Period. We are to be like Christ in everything; every aspect of our lives is supposed to look like Him and point to Him. Luke 19:10 was Christ’s mission; in turn it’s the least we can do, right? Seek and save the lost. In easier terms, share the love of Christ. How do we do that? Show the kindness that God has placed in our life. Our lives change as we grow in Christ. Kindness is the product of this change. If we are going to love God and love people, then kindness has to be evident in our lives.
Is it easy? This road less traveled? No. The road is dirty, sometimes you can hardly see it; it’s covered with leaves. Sometimes there is no help, and you can’t see the end. At times it’s down right disgusting, sleeping on the dirty ground with people driving by not paying any attention to you. And I believe this is where our love for Christ has to step in, and kindness is produced so others can meet Christ, possibly, for the first time. You never know who needs Jesus, and the person right in front of you may need to see Him through you.
My prayer is this: God help me to respond to people and love people the way you would. Help me to be kind and show the kindness that my love for you produces.
By the way, the old man’s name is Delbert. He’s 59, been shot in the eye…and lived! He knows that God has a purpose for him; he’s not sure what it is, but he is keeping on. What will you do with the kindness that God calls us to live out?