The Fruit of the Spirit


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
[Gal. 5:22-23]

Much of the fruit of the Spirit are obvious. It’s natural and easy to desire such things as love, joy, peace, and faith. Yet as we grow, we realize that God intends to take us to a higher level of these traits, to employ them as He does. We are to love the unlovely and even our enemies, to have peace and joy even in the midst of all our sorrows and suffering, and to have faith that can move mountains. He will continue to stretch us even in the desires we thought came natural to us.

Yet some of the fruits are words we almost never hear these days. Take gentleness and goodness for example. How often I wish I heard more parents stress the importance of these qualities to their children, as my parents did. Being one of six kids, I heard them often; “Be gentle”, “Be kind to each other”, “Your a good girl, this is how you should act”. As parents we so often tell our children how not to act, that we forget to tell them how to act and what is expected of them, as if they should automatically know these things.

Then there are the fruits of longsuffering, meekness, and temperance. It’s a good thing God put these things in writing and told me that I should desire them, otherwise it never would have occurred to me to ask for such things. Take longsuffering for example. I just couldn’t see myself in the past asking, “Lord, please bless me with longsuffering.” It goes against my very human nature, yet now I see how suffering has taught me obedience and trust. Also in our culture meekness is considered a weakness, though never realizing how strong and secure one must be, to be meek and humble. Again, I wish I heard more parents express the importance of temperance, better known as self-control, to their children. These days most of us are too busy trying to keep our children under control, and we forget to teach them self control. After all, our job is to prepare them to go out into the world on their own and we won’t always be around to keep them in line.

It’s a good thing that God’s word doesn’t take anything for granted. He knows that we don’t always know what is good for us, that we don’t always know what we need, and we don’t always know which good gifts to ask for. So He blessed us with His word, and; “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” [II Timothy 3:16] 10/28/05

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