Galatians 5:22-26 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
When God made our first parents, He put them in a garden to be the gardeners. Being a gardener is hard work. There’s always weeds to pull, branches to prune, seeds to plant, and a harvest to collect. A well-tended garden can produce a bounty of tasty fruit to eat that makes other people healthy and happy.
God wants your life to be fruitful. To be fruitful is to have the character of Jesus Christ increasingly overtake your life so that others find you to be life-giving and burden-lifting.
How can this occur? Jesus lived His life by the power of the Holy Spirit. And, the Holy Spirit has also been sent to live in God’s people to bring them the character and power of Christ to complete the cycle of grace, which is God’s work for you on the cross, God’s work in you through the Spirit, and God’s work through you, which is fruitfulness.
Before we look at the list, I would recommend that you focus on being a gardener in the life of others and not a fruit inspector. Religious fruit inspectors turn the list of graces below into laws and start judging other people about how sweet or rotten the fruit of their life is. This is God’s job, not ours. I want to encourage you today and ask how is the Holy Spirit causing the following character traits of Christ to increase in your life?
- Love – God’s love for us, in us, and through us
- Joy – Comes from walking in God’s will with a clear conscience
- Peace – With God and others
- Patience – Seeking God’s timing and not pushing our own
- Kindness – Considerate and not rude
- Goodness – Generosity in our words, wealth, and works
- Faithfulness – Reliable, trustworthy, dependable
- Gentleness – Not domineering or overbearing
- Self-control – Not self-indulgent or out of control
Who can you bring this kind of relational and spiritual fruit to so that they become healthier? Are you feeding your spouse, kids, grandkids, friends, coworkers, and family members?