Posted under The Rectory Bulletin | Fruits of the Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-24)

Very often the word “kind” is equated with “nice”, but that does little justice to what the word meant in Greek when Paul wrote Galatians. The word he used - chrēstótēs - primarily means behaving in an upright manner with people. It’s not misleading them, or deceiving them. For Paul, the word “kindness” means being open and honest, and not hiding uncomfortable truths. This is the truly helpful and beneficial thing to do.

In an age where offence is taken quickly, there is a growing temptation to think that the kind thing is simply not to cause offence. If you see the dangers in the path someone is taking, is it really kind to ignore the issue? If someone asks you a direct question, it might be easier to fudge the answer but is that kind? Misleading people might be the easier path, but is that kind to others?

Of course, this is not to say that you have to act with an offensive manner, and seek to hurt people. There are ways of saying things! Rather, the kindness that Paul has in mind is a courageous kindness which seeks the good of others, even if it is awkward for you. It is not simply being nice, but seeking to act in another’s interest.

That is kindness. It is not passive, it is an active kind of love.


The present is one of the hardest times in which to live, living entirely in the here and now, not anchored down by past regrets or consumed with yearnings for future promises. Patience is trusting in God for your future and having a deep sense that in the end his timing is probably better than yours. It is living in the present, and not being dominated by a future which might never happen.

Mad, Bad or God?

How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house. (Mark 3:22-28) - Perhaps you view him as someone who is trustworthy in parts, or a good teacher who was made a messiah by mistake. If so, think on this: Jesus made tremendous claims to be God. He dared to teach on his own authority, and forgive sins. Something which only God has the right to do.

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