Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
Galatians 5:22-23 AMP
"But the fruit of the Spirit (the result of His presence within us) is love (unselfish concern for others), joy, inner peace, patience (not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control."
These are the things the Bible calls the fruits of the Spirit. These characteristics are the direct result of the Holy Spirit working in and through you. Some of these characteristics come to us easier than others. Sometimes it is a day to day challenge to find any of them influencing our behavior.
What is the Holy Spirit and what does that mean to you as a believer? The Holy Spirit is your friend. When we are born again, when we accept Jesus into our lives, the Holy Spirit enters into our hearts. The Holy Spirit is the counselor that Jesus sends to help you live your life as a believer. The Holy Spirit is a person, not a what. The third person of the Trinity. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
How can you recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is that little voice that questions your motives. That feeling that urges you to make a certain choice, a better choice. That suggestion you feel to give your coat away or buy that person groceries. That voice that urges you to stop and be quiet when your arguing with someone. That sense of 'don't do that' because there might be danger if you keep doing it. That calmness you feel when everything is in turmoil. Those things and more is the Holy Spirit working in your life.
Why do we struggle to produce this fruit if it's a direct result of the Holy Spirit living in us and guiding us through life? Simple. We do not listen. We ignore the urge to do that 'thing' because it seems silly or we might 'look' strange to someone else. Sometimes we talk louder so we can't hear the small still voice of God (Holy Spirit). Perhaps we are so challenged by our changes that we begin to think of them as too radical or so out of character that we just stop growing. Stop listening. We choose to stop being obedient.
Man oh man. Been there ~ done that. Don't want to go back. No sir.
Yes, everyday is an opportunity to grow more fruit. I want to be fruitful. I want to be so fruity that anyone who sees me recognizes the fruit with ease.
Love, joy, and peace. Loving others unselfishly. Wow! What a concept. Unselfish love can be hard on those days when we can't get out of our own heads, but when we can love others well, life is easier. Joy is self explanatory, but challenging when we don't choose to be Joyful. Smiling when you don't feel like it changes your attitude. Walk around with an attitude of joy! Circumstances will change because of it. Peace can be a hard one, but it gets easier the more you find it. Sometimes you lose it, you lose your peace and your top, but the best part is that you can get a refill of peace for free. Patience. Yes, that's a biggie too. The ability to wait comes easier for some than for others. Waiting is hard. No question about it, but...you do grow in this one just as you grow in the others. Don't give up. That's the key. Keep trying. Every failure is an opportunity to learn what not to do next time. Kindness, goodness, gentleness, and faithfulness are like a four for one fruit basket. One leads directly into the next. Being kind is a choice, being full of goodness is a choice, having gentleness is a choice, and it all derives out of faith. Believing that there is a better way to treat those around you. Being faithful to your word, your friends, your spouse. To mean what you say and say what you mean. Faithfulness. Self control is all about the total bundle. Where we find all the previous fruits, we find that they all end up bundled into self control.
Choosing to listen. The choices we make and our reactions are all about how well we are listening to the Holy Spirit. Do we sometimes fail to listen? You bet ya! Everyday, every choice is an opportunity to find out just how well you listen and how fruity you can be. Don't look at how others are doing it? Don't compare your progress or how you're doing versus how they're doing. Each of us is an original in our design and function. Especially, don't give up if you lose your fruitiness for a moment or two. The Holy Spirit is there to help you gain back your control and put every fruit at your disposal. Remember that your fruitiness is special to you and spectacular in its own way. Challenging yes! Difficult no! Fruity is the best way to live. Challenge yourself to be the fruitiest in all that you do.
Galatians 5:25-26 MSG
"Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original."