But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Most of us have read this verse before. These are the characteristics we strive for as Christians, but come on…some of them are really difficult. How are we supposed to be loving when people are mean to us? How are we supposed to stay in peace when you lost your job and the mortgage is due? And really, who even wants self-control when that chocolate cake is calling your name?
And yet…we are Christians and the Bible does say that these are the outward signs that the Spirit is within us. And since we know that the Spirit is within us because the Bible tells us that.
Acts 2: 38
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
That means those fruits are in us, but why can’t we see them?
Because as with all plants, we start with a seed. Then, it’s up to us to nurture that seed allowing it to blossom and to mature. Some of us give up before we see that seed sprout by announcing to anyone who will listen that we don’t have that characteristic. How many times have you heard someone say:
“I can’t help it. I have no self-control.” Or “I’m just a worrier—that’s who I am.” Statements like this don’t nurture the seed. It’s time to begin to nurture the seeds God planted within each of us. How do we do that?
First, believe you can be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Second, look for opportunities to use the fruit of the Spirit. And thirdly and most importantly, pray, but…
Be careful what you pray for. If you’re praying for more patience, you might just find yourself in all sorts of situations that require patience. That means God’s giving you the opportunities to develop that patience muscle.
Sometimes you’ll be successful and sometimes not.
Don’t be discouraged when you aren’t successful. Instead, understand that your awareness and that seed is beginning to sprout and before long it will blossom into fruit.
SHARING TIME: WHICH OF THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT COULD USE A LITTLE MORE NUTURING IN YOUR LIFE?