Jack Hayford: Taxing and Abrasive

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By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. Galatians 5:22-23

The Greek word for kindness is chrestos. Jack Hayford describes this portion of the Holy Spirit’s fruit as “goodness in action, sweetness in disposition, gentleness in dealing with others, benevolence, kindness, affability. The word describes the ability to act for the welfare of those taxing your patience. The Holy Spirit removes abrasive qualities from the character of one under His control.”

Jack Hayford as quoted by Thomas E. Trask in The Fruit of the Spirit: Becoming the Person God Wants You to Be (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000) 92.

Notice two aspects of Hayford’s definition of ‘kindness’, which will also unleash the fruit of generosity in us. They link to those who tax our patience and to our abrasive qualities toward others. In simple terms, God’s work goes both ways.

Firstly, this sentence shows the Spirit’s power at work through us: “The word describes the ability to act for the welfare of those taxing your patience.” Only the Spirit can empower us to serve and minister to those that push our proverbial buttons. When we do, it shows God at work in us and brings Him glory.

Secondly, this work in us is transformative: “The Holy Spirit removes abrasive qualities from the character of one under His control.” We must welcome the shaving and polishing that God wants to do to our character through the Spirit. Let us allow God to conform us into His image and likeness so people see Him in and through our lives.

Father, by your Spirit radiate kindness through us even when taxed by others and turn our abrasive spots into sweet spots so your generosity through us blesses others. In your mercy hear my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.