From Scott Hoezee
Years ago when doing a sermon series on The Fruit of the Spirit, I noted to my congregation how relatively pedestrian some of the spiritual fruit seem to be. Who might have guessed that when detailing the evidences of the Holy Spirit in a person's life the Apostle Paul would tumble to listing things like "kindness" or "gentleness"? To the minds of lots of people kindness is akin to being nice. But niceness seems more like something you'd run into in a book about "Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" than a post-Pentecost trait displayed by people who had been doused by no less than the Spirit of the Living God.
Yes, the Fruit of the Spirit include some big-ticket items the likes of which you might expect: love, patience, self-control, faithfulness. But the seemingly more commonplace virtues of gentleness and kindness (and goodness while we're at it) mingle in freely with those other fruit and there seems to be no ranking among them, either. Each is as important as the next. None can exist without the others.
It's wasy to think, though, that kindness and gentleness may be lower on the list of fruit than others. That is until you bring your thinking about the Fruit of the Spirit into contact with a venue in which kindness and gentleness are wholly absent. Because it is then that you realize that without the ability to be kind, to be gentle, to be NICE for heaven's sake, life devolves into gross ugliness in a big old hurry.