Ezer Equipped | Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness

Topics: Ezer Equipped, Fruit Of The Spirit, Kindness

When I offered to write about kindness as a fruit of the Spirit, I thought it would be a safe, easy assignment. I have experienced God’s love, kindness, and mercy in powerful and life-changing ways, and I assumed that natural well-spring would flow over into writing about kindness. But when the time came to start typing, the well was dry, and I had to take a hard look in the mirror. In that moment, I found that while I showed kindness to others, I had none left for myself.

I’ve always been hard on myself, as many of us are, but the past few months, I’ve taken this to another level. About a year ago, a series of storms started in our lives. I’m grateful to share that God has shown up, too! He’s seen us through some devastating circumstances like only he can. We’re still in the middle of several intense situations, and the pressure of the past year has taken its toll. Though anchored deep in Jesus, I’m drenched with weariness and struggling. This is what the struggle has looked like for me:

Sinful choices in my child’s life? I failed in shaping and preparing her. I must not have loved her well enough.

Health problems for another daughter? I should have been more intentional about nutrition. She’s suffering because of me. I haven’t been a good enough mom.

Job and financial changes? I haven’t contributed enough.

Personal health challenges? I have to be productive and care for others regardless of how I feel. That’s my value.

If I heard anyone say these things to others, I would quickly come to their defense. So if I wouldn’t talk to others like this, why am I talking to myself in this way? What is at the heart of this unkindness? In John 15:5 Jesus says, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”

First, I am not the vine. Jesus is. I can’t control everything, nor is it my responsibility to be everything to everyone. Only Jesus can do that. My job is to live a life dependent on him, do my best, and trust him with the results. Second, I must remain in him, and while I know how critical this is for my spiritual walk, I’ve let the storms of this past year toss me around. I’ve depended on myself more than I have the Lord, allowing the demands of each day to steal critical time with my Savior. I can’t produce fruit, peace, or strength on my own. These are treasures found only at his feet, through time with him, and by abiding in him. It’s true that apart from him, I can do nothing. He doesn’t want me to be Superwoman, he wants me to be surrendered to him.

I love how Jesus pursues us and draws us with his goodness and kindness. Romans 2:4 says, “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?”

Yes, I see, and it means everything to me. Once again God’s kindness changes me and his beautiful truth sets me free.

Jesslyn Griffith

for the Ezer Newsletter Team


Take a moment to read Luke 10:38–42.

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Similar to Jesslyn’s story, I’ve been struggling with speaking Martha’s words of unkind judgment to myself. I’m in a new season where I’m struggling to meet my own expectations, and I’m drenching myself in shame. But we serve a God who is kind. In this story, Jesus meets Martha’s harshness with gentleness. He sees her in all her worry, anxiety, and the potential for self-inflicted judgment. Instead of condemning her, he points her to the good and better option—himself. Time and presence with the Lord is our greatest good.

Read this text again and take some time to meditate on the following:

  • What are the ways in which Martha’s circumstances, thoughts, and expectations are influencing her to be unkind? What are Martha’s priorities? What are Mary’s?
  • Is there a difference between what Martha thinks is true and what is actually true? If so, what is the difference?

Courtney Vaughn

for the Ezer Newsletter Team


As we reflect on both Jesslyn’s story and Luke 10:38-42, take some time to answer the following questions.

  1. What are the circumstances, thoughts, or expectations that influence you to be unkind?
  2. When does kindness come easiest to you? When is it the hardest?
  3. Martha asks “Lord, don’t you care?” She is ultimately asking God to prioritize what she finds important instead of seeking what God finds important. How do you see this reflected in your own life?

Take some time this week to pray for the Lord to grow his fruit of kindness in you, that he would remove what prevents its growth so you can share kindness with yourself and others for his glory!

Allie Black

for the Ezer Newsletter Team