When another New Testament passage uses the word kindness, it refers to the kindness of God appearing in the form of a Savior. And to fill people with the greatest gift— his Spirit.
What kind of power did the word “kindness” held for the readers of Galatians 5? These were people living in a Hellenistic-influenced culture. They were familiar with the stories and images associated with this word. For them, kindness was neither fluffy nor soft— it represented a powerful, unexpected move.
And here Paul was challenging them to live out this type of kindness as people who live in new-found freedom from the Law, to use their power in a way that demonstrated the same kindness of God. If we write it off as a general humanitarian content, we diminish its power. Kindness is the expression of God’s love revealed in Christ.
The immense love of God, expressed through Jesus, is then expressed by Christians in our love and kindness to our neighbors. Because of the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, it is now possible to be distributors ourselves of this divine and radical grace.
Kindness is so much more that good, humanitarian acts that any human can do. It’s more than ‘being nice.’ Kindness are divinely empowered acts that reflect a divine move of mercy to demonstrate the rescue, grace, salvation, and power of God that we ourselves have received.