Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control.
The fruits of the Spirit.
You have them. I have them. We all have them. Inherently, as children of the King, these qualities are accessible to us.
Despite our usual temperament, our past responses, our personality or our preference, we have the ability to be each of these things in any situation.
Independently? Absolutely not. It does not come “naturally” to me to remain patient while in traffic (may or may not have left late and be in a rush) but I can CHOOSE to be patient anyway.
What do you have going on today that you could use a little more gentleness? A little more joy? A little more love?
Friends, it is when we depart from our usual patterns and ways of responding that others notice and become curious. “Hmm…that was weird…Cleere never responds that way? I like it but it was unusual.”
And there it is A seed planted. A curious mind ignited to find the source of your crazy joy, the source of your newfound patience, the source of your steadfast faithfulness despite the downfalls!
And you know what the awesome thing is? When we walk in the fruits of the Spirit, the Lord is faithful to do His part. He will not lead us astray. He will give us opportunities to be His hands and feet and He will step in when our flesh wants to intervene. But we have to decide whether we are up for the challenge.
There is a sweetness and a boldness and a pureness that comes from these fruits. They seep into our lives and saturate every area and suddenly, we notice a new way of handling our relationships, our difficulties, our triumphs, our whole lives!
It changes the focus from “Lord, what can you do for me today?” to “Lord, You have already done everything for me by giving me life. What can I do for YOU today? Help me shift my focus and walk in the qualities you’ve instilled in me.”
So, dump the rotten fruits. The ignorance, anger, frustration, bitterness, hate, jealousy, harshness, etc. Dig to find the roots of them and what kept them growing. Realize that none of that is Jesus and ask Him to change your heart in those.
It is not whether you are capable of walking in the Spirit, it is whether you are available and willing to walk in the Spirit.
Let’s be difference-makers. Mood-shifters. Atmosphere-changers. Life-givers. Kind-talkers. Love-warriors.
Praying for you friend! That you might choose gentleness when harshness is upon your tongue and that you may always, always, always walk in LOVE.
Happy Hump Day!
“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” –Galations 5:22-23