Is there anyone of us who doesn’t want to experience the fruit of the spirit in a more significant and more fulfilling way?
Galatians 5:22-23 – “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.” (NIV)
Our church pastor has spent several weeks discussing the fruit of the Spirit, what it is and how to get it. Each Sunday at the end of the service I would lean towards my wife and tell her, “I am going to try harder to have more of that.” Interestingly enough, I found it was much more difficult than I thought it would be. Sure, I had days of improvement, but over time it became difficult to maintain love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in my life.
Self-improvement and having a positive mental attitude are important to me and have had a great influence on the many successes in my life, but I realized that I was spending most of my time focused on the physical and mental parts of my life and neglecting the spiritual. If I sincerely want to have balance in my life, then I must feed my relationship with God as well. The fruit of the Spirit will be the result of finding that balance and connection.
I can make it my goal to be more patient and can succeed for a time but eventually will begin to lose patience or have patience in one area and not another. It takes work to be patient! What about self-control? Have any of you ever done or said something you wish you hadn’t? This is a daily occurrence for me! It is a daily struggle to cultivate self-control. The fruit of the Spirit may seem like it should easily be obtained but I find human nature opposes every one of them. I don’t always want to be loving, joyful, peaceful, kind, patient, good, faithful, gentle and in control. There is a part of me that wants to cause trouble, have things when and how I want them, and thinks the world should revolve around me. (True dat!! – my wife’s two cents on the subject) But then there is the other side that wants to live in the Spirit and tries every day to make life better. Unfortunately, many times when I think I have taken a step forward by the end of the day I realize I took two backward.
God didn’t create me to be a perfect human being. I have my flaws, struggles, and limitations just like everyone else. I know I can obtain the fruit of the Spirit if I put aside my ego, the influence of the outside world and work on my relationship with God. To get the fruit of the Spirit, I must live in the Spirit. I can beat myself up every day reminding myself to have more love in my heart. I can practice saying I am a loving person but unless I connect with God, then I am going to fall short every time. If I spend time reading the Bible, meditating on His word and praying I can have a better relationship with God. Ultimately this is how we all can benefit from the fruit of the Spirit on a daily basis.
How to Get the Fruit of the Spirit
- Most of us don’t have a lot of time. However, that doesn’t mean your relationship with God can’t be improved. Start by spending 5 to 10 minutes each day reading the Bible and meditating on what you read.
- All day, every day, make it a point to incorporate prayer into your life. Talk to God as if He were sitting in your passenger seat on the way to work. Thank Him for beautiful things as you pass them by.
- You can improve your Christian walk even more if you make the time to attend a small group once a week. You will be able to study the word of God and get fellowship and accountability.
- Lastly, don’t be your own worst critic. You will make mistakes and the longer you spend beating yourself up, the longer it will take you to get back on track. Plus, you could turn into a negative nelly, and nobody wants that.