“By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.” vss. 22-23
Once we recognize that we have been set free from the law, two distinct possibilities for living await us. In Paul’s terms, one option is to allow the desires and passions of the flesh determine what we will say and do. It’s a tempting alternative! Our desires are close at hand and offer their own form of gratification…but such a life will never give us an experience of Christ-like living. The other option is to allow the Holy Spirit to be our guide and director and walk in the way of Jesus. Paul’s description of the fruits resulting from such a life deserves to be memorized and engraved on our hearts, not as some sort of new legalism, but as a description of the beautiful life. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…these are the attributes that are seen in us when our Christ-light begins to shine. They don’t happen because we will them…fruits can never be forced. Rather, they flow naturally out of the love relationship we have with God through Jesus. If they’re not present it’s because we’ve somehow allowed the cares of the world to intrude and obscure the Christ who dwells within. When by grace God’s healing comes, our light begins to shine once more and those precious fruits will abound.
Thought for the Day: Which fruits of the Spirit are most obvious in me?