Qualities that emerge because of the indwelling Holy Spirit have a beautiful flow to them. Such is the flow that it makes sense that they are not seen as fruits of the Spirit, but fruit.
Love, joy, peace and patience are complimentary and for that to then be followed by kindness (or gentleness) further supports the flow in the fruit.
Thinking about kindness from a personal perspective reminds me of being a child and an adult offering something sweet to eat, especially one of my favourite chocolate bars. This would usually be done without anything I did to deserve it. It was not done with pomp and ceremony, just a smile and polite offer from that trusted adult followed by my eyes widening in sheer delight and doing my best not to trip over myself in eagerness in receiving what was offered.
Something done for the benefit of the other in a manner of sweetness and light. It does not require merit, it is not based on obligation and certainly not under duress. The flow of the heart in wanting the best for the other or just to bless the other is apparent.
This is a quality that in every day engagement becomes harder to exercise on a consistent basis because of the challenges of hurt, injustice, pain, betrayal, rejection and the growing desire for self-preservation at the cost of leaving yourself vulnerable to further misunderstanding or abuse. This is also why the consistent flow of this characteristic is based expressed from the divine perspective.
Look at the loving Father and Creator of humanity, shaping and forming him after His own image. See how He tenderly provides a garden, a fulfilling occupation and a mate specifically for him. Consider His heartbreak at the rejection of His creation yet He still clothes them, He still ensures His love is apparent in the food He gives, the weather He sends for keeping them well resourced. Dwell on His relentless quest to make a way back for fallen, broken and distorted humanity through the love and life of His only Son. Note the height of that expression in the figure of His Son on the cross carrying the sin of the world. Ponder on His generosity in pouring out His Spirit on all flesh and leaving a gathering of people from different cultures, backgrounds, experiences and stories. All these joined together by the same Spirit in the same community with the same Father imparting His character on them.
Nothing abrupt, nothing harsh, nothing impatient, nothing dismissive, nothing to give the sense of hopeless rejection by the One who loves and cares for us.
In the light of that great kindness we are equipped to display true kindness to others. In the light of that great kindness we can do no less than be kind to humankind.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden