It was one of those moments of surprise as a parent. Luke was finishing his lunch which this time involved a snack-sized bag of Doritos. He is a typical kid who loves junk food and fries and chips are probably top of the list. This day, however, my loving, kind, compassionate son, walks over to my wife and tells her that he wanted to give the rest of his chips to her. Aww! How sweet! How thoughtful! She says thank you, then looks in the bag. There is NOTHING left in the bag except a couple crumbs. We had a life lesson session with Luke after that, thanking him for trying to be thoughtful and kind, but explaining that what he did was not.
Our fruit of the Spirit for this week is gentleness. This Greek word is translated gentleness only in Galatians 5:22, but everywhere else it is translated good or kind. Luke was experimenting with kindness, but he was missing some key elements to make it really work. You see gentleness requires a two things: observation and usefulness. Kindness is not a switch in your life. You don’t wake up one morning and decide to flip the kindness switch on. Kindness requires action. You need to notice how people are doing, watch for any needs they may have, and give at the right time. This takes some powers of observation which may be very challenging to you :). It is to me. But not only observation, but it has to be useful. You could argue that an empty bag of Doritos excelled in the observation part, but failed in usefulness.
Are you giving people around you an empty bag of Doritos? I hope not. As always, if you need an example, think about what Christ has offered to you, Christian. Matthew 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” I am so thankful for the gentleness of Christ.