22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23gentleness, self-control; against such things)there is no law.
24Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
26Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
Yesterday I mentioned the “bad list” as something to check our lives against to see if we were losing our way or sliding off course. Today we are presented with the Fruit of the Spirit, something we should all be familiar with, at least if you go to the same church that I do.
Again, I think these specific words are more comprehensive and mean more than what they say. For instance, I look at faithfulness and we can say that it is referring to our relationship with our husbands or wives, but it is a more wholesome word. It means faithfulness in ALL relationships, even the one with Jesus. So, let’s try not to be narrow minded when reading this list either.
One thing I feel can get easily overlooked when reading this passage is that we exhibit these qualities BECAUSE of the Spirit. Remember, we are naturally sinful, so it isn’t until we accept Christ’s forgiveness and are baptized with the Spirit that these qualities are even relevant in our lives. Sure, we can do some of these things temporarily, but to make a habit of them, we need His strength and His guidance and His heart.
Verse 26 is a good reminder. There is no reason to become boastful, challenging, or envious because these qualities have nothing to do with us, so how can we compete with one another for them? Not to mention, having that attitude is the absence of these qualities and need to be checked against our previous list.
How do you align with these things? You see, while these qualities do not abound on our own merit, if any of us are lacking in a specific area, we need to investigate our lives to find out why we are lacking there. It is a way to see where in our lives we are not obeying God’s command for us to love Him and love each other. If we take an honest inventory of ourselves in prayer and meditation, we will find these areas that we can correct.
What do you need to correct about your relationship with God today?