July 12, 2022
At the end of a wonderful, tropical vacation, I was happy, relaxed, and feeling close to God. I was standing in the boarding line for the flight home. Within minutes, I was complaining about the flight delays while privately complaining to my wife about the rude people shoving their way forward in line. I was a bit impatient, annoyed, and frustrated.
“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”Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
Ugh, that wasn’t me. At least not at that moment.
How sad that as a strong believer in Christ, I wasn’t acting very Christian in that moment? It’s equally ironic that this was on the tail end of a very fun, relaxing vacation. If anything, that was my moment to shine. The fruits of the Spirit should have been radiating out of every pore of my body. But they weren’t.
In fact, as hard as I may try to exude these fruits, it doesn’t always happen. On most days, a simple traffic jam, getting cut off on the expressway, or an inflammatory social media post can be enough to stop the flow of fruit. That’s part of our broken, sinful nature.
The fruits of the Spirit are meant to be exactly that, fruits. What we produce when we’re filled with the Holy Spirit should look exactly the way Paul explains it in the book of Galatians. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control should naturally flow out of us and be visible to others. Anyone should be able to look at a true follower of Jesus and see that something is very different about us.
Earlier in Chapter 5 of Galatians (verses 14-15), it says, “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” Again, it comes back to loving God and loving others.
While it seems simple on the surface, living a life for Christ is easier than it sounds. While Jesus tells us to love, social media is filled with hate. While we’re told to be joyful, we constantly hear negativity in comments like “another day another dollar,” “not bad for a Monday,” or sarcastically, “living the dream.” While we’re told to be peaceful, we’re also told to “look out for number one.” And, of course, while we’re told to be patient, our lives tend to revolve around clocks, appointments, meetings, and barriers. The world is constantly telling us to do the opposite of what Jesus wants us to do.
If left to our own accord, it’s nearly impossible to live the type of life Jesus wants us to live. When we try to live by our rules and our ways, it’s easy to fail. However, here are a few friendly reminders:
- We’re human, we’re broken, and we all fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23)
- Only Jesus lived a human, sinless life
- The only way to be more like Jesus is to accept Him into your heart as the Lord of your life
- John 14: 15-17 says, “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”
I encourage you to pray daily, and to ask that God fills you with this Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit. Allow God to purge you of everything that is of this world, and pray that the Holy Spirit fills you and allows you to produce these fruits of the Spirit. We’re human, we can’t do it alone, and we need a Savior. That Savior is Jesus.
Photo Credit: Maja Petric