Is there real Kindness or Goodness?
Luke 6:45 – A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
I remember once hearing the phrase, “There are two things guaranteed in life: bad things happen, and they will happen to you.” I could not agree more. Although, these certainly aren’t the only guarantees in life, they certainly reflect the reality of the world we live in and truly put into perspective the relentless waves of bad circumstances we will face in life. The Christian can’t control these external waves of evil crashing down on them, but they can control the equally destructive internal surges of evil that often have the tendency to flare up in response to the hardships faced on the external. In other words, true Christians have the spirit of kindness and goodness inside them that not only allow for them to have peace amidst the storm, but an ability to counter the storm with an unnatural response of kindness and goodness. The reference here in Luke was shared to show what also can be a constant or “guarantee” in the life of a Christian: our attitude and behavior in response to evil. A good man, (or as I’ll choose to say it here – a Christ follower) brings good things out of the good stored up in their heart. It has no reference of good only being brought out when the external waves subside and things are going good. Through ALL circumstances, the Christ follower can choose to respond in kindness and goodness.
Take a look at Matthew 14. At the beginning of the chapter, we see the events preceding the beheading of John the Baptist. Verse 13 is then where Jesus finds out that he has indeed been executed. Make note that John the Baptist was Jesus’s cousin and a dear friend to him. We see in this verse that when he heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. Jesus was clearly rattled by this, and rightly so. Imagine hearing news that your best friend was tragically killed. It would be devastating. Surely any of us would wish for time to be alone to mourn the death of our friend as well. But as we continue reading, we find out that it wasn’t very long before Jesus’ solitude was interrupted. It says,
“But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns.”
Let’s get this straight; your friend was just killed, so you escape to get some alone time to mourn, and now crowds of people are following you trying to tell you how bad their lives are! No thank you! But I love Christ’s response here. It says in verse 14,
“Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.”
How remarkable is Christ for his selflessness and his unwillingness to cave in to carnal responses I’m sure many of us would have had if we were in his position. It continues on and his disciples came to Jesus, saying, “its getting late. Lets send the people home so they can eat.” Mind you, the disciples would have known about John’s death and the reason Christ came out here in the first place. I’m sure this was also a gesture or comment for Christ’s sake as well. These people were wearing down an already emotionally spent Jesus, who was trying to deal with the loss of his cousin and friend. But again, Christ says he’s not done here yet. What a remarkable act of kindness and goodness Christ demonstrated already with the healing of so many! And just when you think Christ has done enough to contrast his gloomy circumstance, he says, “No. Feed them as well.” You all know how the story continues. Christ then performs on of the biggest miracles reported on in the Bible: the feeding of the five thousand with only two fish and five loaves of bread. One of the largest miracles came during a time of sorrow and mourning. No one would have blamed Christ if he sent the crowd away. No one would have criticized him for wanting time to be alone to mourn for his loss. But its times of great pain and sorrow that the fruit of kindness and goodness shine brightest! It’s during the storm that they are most unnatural to the world and most impactful to the people around them. It’s during hardships that prove if the spirit truly resides in you and that the good you bring forward is not merely a matter of good circumstance.
There is true Kindness and Goodness when they are rooted in genuine love and care for people unconditionally. Kindness is not doing good for people out of obligation or social appropriation. Kindness isn’t real when it’s only given because it is expected. But when true kindness and goodness are demonstrated in the place of revenge, in response to acts of cruelness or during times of pain, the flavor of the fruit becomes sweet and savory. The true nature of these spiritual fruits become actualized and unnatural to the expectation of the fallen bitter world. It’s the greatest testimony of the supernatural power of God demonstrated in contrast to the natural world around us.
Let your mouth speak and body act in accordance to what the heart is full of. And let it be that your heart is filled with the Holy Spirit!