You often hear people talk about the “fruit of the Spirit.”
It’s a reference to what the apostle Paul says in Galatians 5: 22-23 (ESV), that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
The idea is that if you’re a follower of Jesus and have the Holy Spirit living within you, these characteristics will start to happen in and through your life.
I think the biggest misunderstanding about the fruit of the Spirit is that you may have one or some of them, but not all of them. But that’s not totally accurate.
It’s “fruit” singular, not “fruits.”
So if the Holy Spirit is working in and through your life, ALL of these characteristics will be growing in you. You may be more naturally inclined to some, and some may take longer to develop than others, but they will all be maturing in the vine of your soul.
I don’t say this to make you feel bad. Lord knows, none of us are perfect, including me! I’ve had days when self-control and patience seem like birds who’ve flown into the window and are flailing around on the lawn, rendered temporarily useless. (Sorry for the visual.)
I say it because growing in your relationship with Jesus is a partnership. He’s working at making you more like himself.
For your part, are you open to the change he’s working within you? Or are you closed to some of these 9 characteristics simply because you don’t think they apply?
Look at this list:
That’s a description of the future you.
Today, watch for that one opportunity to grow and seize it, as God matures the vine of your soul.
By Matthew Ruttan
- “Up!” is published 5 days a week (Tuesday to Saturday) and returns on June 20th.