Kindness is the pivotal point
In the list of the Fruit of the Spirit we see kindness is listed in the center: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
You see how the first four are basically states of being? They are similar to the leaves of a tree.
God is love, we are loved, we love others. Because of that, we experience joy, peace and patience. We then exhibit kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The first four well up inside us from God Himself through the Holy Spirit's indwelling. They are our sustenance, they gather oxygen to live, so to speak, and make visible God's blessings for our nurturing. The last five are expressed outwardly to our siblings in Christ first, and then to our neighbors. The last four are the roots of the tree establishing permanence and stability in the face of the storms of life/
Kindness is the first outward evidence of the Spirit, and especially of our Christianity. When we show kindness we are extending God's hand to others around us. Sadly, I do not see a whole lot of kindness in the body of Christ. Perhaps because it takes effort and energy, and it takes all the other parts of the gift of the Spirit in order to evidence kindness. Perhaps it is because those who exhibit no kindness, and are perpetually without kindness toward others do not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps the lack of kindness is because the person is just having a bad day, or is in a depressed state.
A person in deep depression has no thought of exhibiting kindness for that person is wrapped up in his own Hell. So it takes all of the fruit to shake out of the depression. The certainty of being loved, the joy of the heart, the peace that passes all understanding, and the patience to wait upon God gives that person the courage to reach out to fellow man. Certainly there are times we get depressed or lose our way temporarily. But the indwelling Holy Spirit does not allow us to stay there long because God is intensely interested in our well being because He loves us.
God works inside our hearts through the Spirit. God is love; John tells us so. If there is no love in the heart, then kindness is not evident, nor even a brief thought. For through love springs all the gift of the Spirit because God is love.
Without peace, kindness is not exhibited because turmoil and war in the mind and heart drown out all thoughts of others. This introspection, or rather inward thinking, builds a bridge to depression and despair.
Patience and long-suffering are the roots of kindness. A tree with shallow roots falls over in the first huff of wind. Kindness stems from patience because patience stalls the hasty reply, stops the anger before it forms and causes the advent of forgiveness before bitterness can germinate.
Therefore, in Paul's list of the fruit of the Spirit (please note it is all one fruit, not multiple fruits) Kindness is the turning point from the inward spring to the outward flow of the Spirit.
Considered thoughts from Gina Burgess at 4:06 PM