It’s not what you think. Don’t skip this one. I’m not here to make you feel like you’ll never make it.
If you’re like me, you’re probably sick to death of being told that if you’re impatient or moody, that you’re not bearing fruit as a Christian. I’m the kind of person who tends to wear my faults on the outside. Where other people only lose their minds in public once a decade, I tend to have an ugly outburst every few months. I hate this. It’s obviously not pretty. I’m not much of a Christian, am I? Well, let’s study this.
If the spirit of the Lord is upon you and you’re trying to shine his light to those around you, what will they see? A perfect example of Godly patience and self control? Kindness that never cracks, always tolerating abuse without a second thought? Do we always have a gentle word for others? I wish that were the way people could always describe me. But they can’t really do that. I’m not known for those qualities. I am, however, bearing a lot of spiritual fruit. How? Let’s look further.
The Fruit of the Spirit is:
Love- I’m great at loving people. Strangers, friends, and even enemies get my love demonstrated through fervent prayers and the lack of retaliation when they have wronged me.
Joy- I’m known for my joy. My smile is bright, cheerful and happy. I’m pretty much always willing to turn away from sad thoughts and focus on the positive. I believe that God gives joy that undergirds us during the hardest times.
Peace- The peace that passes understanding is my favorite part of God’s promises to me. I’m often busy and rushed, but under all that outward stress that shows up on my face and in my movements, I sleep like a baby every night. I can let it all go and rest in Him, and I all kept in perfect peace as my mind stays focused on my God.
Patience- I’m the family’s designated phone caller, waiting on hold forever, filling out forms, and reading complicated instructions. I’ve got patience to set up email accounts, create basic websites, and learn new things. I still have little patience when I’m being corrected or reprimanded, but I’m trying to learn to accept that, too.
Kindness- Kids and dogs love me. While my voice doesn’t always sounds gentle, they know that they’ll be treated kindly and loved genuinely. I love elderly people. I’m not always sweet to my husband. I can be a bit of a complainer with him, but I’m still building up my storehouse of kindness.
Goodness- People always say I’m good. I don’t know what that means. Honestly, I don’t see it. I’m often mean in my mind. But I’m always seeking to do what’s right. It’s my life goal to do good. I’m glad people notice. But I’m not resting upon that. There’s more to do.
Faithfulness- I’ve been a two faced, half-hearted person. It’s my goal to never be that way again. I’m mostly faithful now. But sadly, I sometimes fail.
Gentleness- I believed firmly in telling things honestly even if the words hurt. I grabbed my kids roughly and sat them down hard in a seat. I have been rough. This is a recent goal, to learn gentleness.
Self-control – I can be treated terribly by a friend, and I’ll avoid them rather than attack them. I’m learning daily to avoid losing my temper at home, but that’s my biggest weak spot. I want to be better. I want to change.
If you’re embarrassed or discouraged by the behaviors that you’re manifesting, ask God to help you change. Then, start seeking to actively participate in that healing. Seek God’s face, spend time in his presence, and change your mind. It may not be instant, but one day you’ll look back and say, “Where did that old awful behavior go? I’m free of it.”