To the Leader: The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The Holy Spirit wants to produce this fruit in you. This week we are taking a look at kindness in a time of harshness. Kindness is not natural and it is definitely counter-cultural. But, we believe that God gives us access to it through His Spirit!
Have you ever felt torn making a decision? Maybe between what you want to do and what you should do, or maybe between what culture does and what God says to do? What if there was a simple way to know the right choice? What if there was a clear way to live in step with how God wants us to live?
The good news is the Holy Spirit helps us do that. However, many people view the Holy Spirit as unapproachable, mystical, or just too confusing, but He doesn’t have to be that way. If you’ve ever wondered what it actually means to live a life guided by the Holy Spirit, then this series is for you.
- Who is one of the kindest people you know?
- What is something kind someone has done for you recently, and how did it impact you?
- Does this fruit of the Spirit come easily for you or is it one that you need more of?
Think About It
- We live in a brutally harsh time, and we have an opportunity as believers to be different. How have you experienced someone being kind to you or someone else during this intense 2020 year?
- In the midst of a season that is emotionally intense, why do you feel like it’s important for us as believers to be intentionally kind?
- What is the difference in thoughtfulness and kindness?
Look It Up
- Read Luke 10:25-37
- What stands out to you?
- Why do you think Jesus tells this story to the expert of the law?
- How was this instruction from Jesus counter-cultural?
- Note the three options of response in this story:
- Keep your distance
- Be interested, but uncaring
- Show Kindness (Thoughtful love in Action)
If we are honest, we don’t always choose to show kindness. Whether justified or not, why do you think we do this? (ex: it takes time to show kindness)
Charles mentioned that kindness requires three things:
- People are hurting all around us, and they need kindness. Awareness of this takes eyes to see. How can you take intentional steps to slow down and look around to see the needs around you?
- Read Luke 10:33 again. Once we identify a need in others, we need to be sympathetic to their hurt or pain. This verse illustrates the need for us to involve our emotions. Give examples of how we may do this (or how others have done this for you)
- A key to engaging the heart (showing compassion) is to stop asking “What is wrong with them?,” and to begin asking “What happened to them?”. Discuss what changes in your heart and mind when you begin with “What happened to them?” instead of “What is wrong with them?” What do you find challenging about this?
- The Good Samaritan was more than aware and more than compassionate. He was willing to interrupt his schedule and step towards “the mess.” Think of an opportunity where God gave you such an opportunity. Was it difficult to share your time and resources to help? Discuss why.
- What do you need to do this week to position yourself to show kindness to those around you?
God’s kindness to us, demonstrated through Jesus is the foundation for our kindness. In short, we can and should be kind because of the kindness we have received from God in our own messes.
Remember these verses this week:
Perhaps in doing so, you will find that kindness comes more naturally for you as it is an overflow of The Spirit working in your own heart rather than trying to produce kindness in yourself! We love, and show kindness because Christ first loved us.
Write this down: Holy Spirit, help me be aware, help me to care and help me to take action.
The Blessing by Elevation Worship (Song)
The Joyful Christian by C.S. Lewis (Book)
Abiding in Christ by Andrew Murray (Book)
Where You Are by Leeland (Song)