July 31, 2012
So I left off on patience a few days ago and have found other fruit “notices” all around me. And this morning, my roommate hung something on our bulletin that says:
“If you ever begin to feel like you’re not progressing fast enough, reread that first phrase in Galatians 5:22. The Holy Spirit is the One who produces the fruit in your life. So, relax and enjoy your relationship with God… He’s doing the hard part… and He’ll help you do your part. Don’t worry, you’re right on track.”
What a relief to know that the Holy Spirit does the work! Cause what if we tried to produce these fruits in our own strength? It wouldn’t be pretty.
Take KINDNESS for example, since it is my next fruit check. It is a hard thing to be kind to people that are hateful and bitter. It is hard to be kind when you are in poor spirits yourself. It’s hard to show acts of kindness when you are lazy or in a hurry. But what a wonderful thing to know you went out of your way to be kind to someone who needed some cheering up. I think I’m alright here… I can check this one off.
GOODNESS – What exactly does goodness mean? I looked up up in the Bible dictionary and it says first that only God is good. But it goes on to say: One of the fruits of the spirit is goodness, in the sense of Christian holiness and righteousness. This is in keeping with the goal of the Christian life, which is to be like our Heavenly Father, both in character and action.
So am I striving to be more Christ-like? That is how goodness is evident. I think so. I do strive to be like Jesus. It’s very important to me to question myself if Jesus would do what I am doing. And for the most of the time, I can answer yes.
FAITHFULNESS – What am I faithful to? Where do my loyalties lie? Am I a dependable friend? For a long time my loyalties were misplaced. I was loyal to my boyfriend but not myself. I was faithful to meet up with my drug friends, but avoided my family. I was eager to work for the devil, but ran the other way when God was calling out my name. But PRAISE GOD I have got that straightened out and I can say I am a faithful daughter, sister, aunt, friend and servant.
GENTLENESS – I love having a gentle spirit. It sure beats being aggressive and rough. But I think a good indicator of gentleness is how I feel inside. OF course there are some times that I just want to scream and others that I want to choke something. But mostly, I have a lot of patience for people and I am able to be gentle and caring.
SELF-CONTROL – Oh this is a good one. I have struggled with this in so many areas. Men – finances – exercise – controlling my tongue – my mind – my desires.
But through much discipline, I have learned the art of self-control. Fasting is one discipline. Budgeting and exercise are 2 more important ones. I learn much control when I set a goal and don’t give up.
All these fruits can be ours if we will submit to the control of the Holy Spirit. I have had to put a little thought into this fruit check. There are still some fruits I struggle to produce on a daily basis. But God gives me the grace and the will to do the best I can.
As long as I allow the Holy Spirit to dwell inside me, these gracious habits and principles will be evident in my life. And God can use them for my benefit and for others benefit as well.