THE WORD: Goodness in action

Boaz and Ruth (cir. 1640) is a drawing by Rembrandt depicting Boaz and Ruth. Museum of Prints and Drawing, Berlin via Public Domain

The fifth element of the Fruit of the Spirit is gentleness, which is often translated as kindness. One of the enduring images in the Bible of kindness is Ruth, great grandmother of King David. Ruth was loyal and kind to her mother-in-law Naomi after both were widowed. Ruth’s willingness to set aside her own desires and safety to help Naomi earned her rewards on earth and in posterity. 

Kindness, which Ruth expressed through other virtues like patience, love and meekness, earned her a place of high honor as a mother and caregiver. As a foreigner, Ruth assimilated to Naomi’s culture and accepted God. Ultimately, she became an instrument for a larger good and was part of the bloodline of Jesus.

RUTH 1: 16-17

16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.