Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness
and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23
Some things in life would just seem too good to be true. What if Pancheros made their queso free of charge. Or, what if snow could accumulate without below-freezing temperatures? Imagine your favorite artist or sports team giving you life-long tickets to every single one of their future events. All of these things would be incredible, but they just aren’t going to happen.
Part of me thinks that this becomes our thought process with the fruit of the Spirit. Think about a home where all the kids are displaying kindness to each other and where marriages are consistently guided by love and faithfulness. What if schools were full of goodness, joy, and self-control? No one would be against these things happening, but it just all sounds too good to be true.
And for us, they are. You and I will never be able to produce these things on our own, yet so often, we look to ourselves to display these fruits. Somehow, we have the idea that once we are saved by God’s grace, we can rely on our own strength to grow in Jesus.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age (Titus 2:11-12).
Yes, God’s grace brings us salvation, yet it’s that same grace that is at work within us as we follow Jesus. Instead of focusing on the fruit, we must set our gaze on the source of the fruit – the Spirit of God. It’s God’s Spirit that is actively at work in us to help produce love, joy, peace, etc. When there’s a specific quality we seem to struggle displaying, the first step is for us to ask the Lord to help gift us more of that fruit in our lives.
Now, none of this means that we just sit back and stop trying. We must keep practicing patience and be intentional with self-control. Take part in developing yourself as a kind, gentle friend to those around you. As we do these things, may we always remember the source of this fruit – not us!
This should be such an encouragement to us. The fruit of the Spirit isn’t a standard we have to live up to, but rather, it’s a result of a changed heart that has encountered the love of Jesus. When we out-love those around us, it’s not a testament to how great we are, but to how great the Spirit is within us. Let’s lean into His power this week.
Questions for reflection:

  1. What kinds of fruits of the Spirit do you see in your life? Take some time to thank the Lord for gifting those to you.
  2. What are some fruits that may not be as prevalent in your life? Pray and ask the Spirit to help you in those areas.
  3. Think about a close friend or family member – whichever fruit of the Spirit is clearly active in their life – shoot them a text and encourage them. Let them know you see the Spirit at work in them through how they are living.
Garrett Crown | Student Ministries Associate

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