June 21 - Galatians 5:22-23

Friday, June 21, 2013

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

One thing many of us do when reading this passage is read it as nine separate fruits of the Spirit, thinking we can get away with only showing a few of them to the world and calling it good.

However, Paul writes that these nine attributes are a singular fruit of the Spirit. That changes how we look at our behavior.

If we love passionately, but have no gentleness about us, are we living as Christ would have us live?  If we are very self-controlled about all we do, but are not kind to others, do we really show that God is present in our lives?

Yes … and no.

When we live in obedience to God, these are the things which will flow from us without any effort.  We should not have to work to be kind and gentle, loving, faithful, self-controlled, patient (forbearing), good or filled with peace and joy.  If we are working and striving to become these things, we’re doing it wrong.

With the activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives, these are the attributes which will fill our lives. We won’t be able to control them, they will emanate from us without us even thinking about it. All we have to do is listen and obey as He guides us.

These are a measure of our obedience, not a goal for our lives.

All we have to do is listen and obey.  Now … there’s the rub.