Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 1, 2020

Living A Fruity Life

“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.” Galatians 5: 22-23

Times are dark. And, frankly, it seems like people are getting uglier. I’m not talking in terms of aesthetics (although, I for one, have succumbed to 24/7 stretchy pants and mascara-less eyes most days). I mean ugly in terms of attitude and disposition. Now, we all know divisiveness is growing—it’s palpable due to, well, everything that’s going on. But in addition to the side-taking and lack of civil discourse, there seems to be a general malcontent, dare I say, crankiness.

Just go to the grocery store and you’ll see angry eyes above masked faces. Or while driving, you can experience a bit more aggression on the road. Sometimes, all I have to do is look in the mirror to find it. What about you?

As Christians, though, we are called to live differently—regardless of the circumstances around us. We are to shine our light in the darkness, to add salt in a bland (and tasteless) world. We’re supposed to stand out and not give in to the cultural mood du jour. We are called to be fruity.

Let me quickly break down Galatians 5:22-23…but I pray that we also dig into the associated verses and discern how we can embody each characteristic as we walk through our days.

  1. Love. This kind of love is a choice—agape. It’s not a feeling or passing desire. (1 John 3:16-17; John 15:13; Romans 5:8)
  2. Joy. This is happiness based on unchanging divine promises and eternal spiritual realties. As believers in Jesus Christ, it’s already ours, in all circumstances. Joy is an undercurrent. (1 Peter 1:8; John 16:20-22; Romans 14:17; Philippians 4:4)
  3. Peace.  This is an inner-calm because we are saved. Life will throw all kinds of junk at us, but we can be “anxious for nothing” because God is in control. (John 14:27; Romans 8:28; Philippians 4:6-9)
  4. Patience. This is the ability to endure conflicts and injuries inflicted by others. It’s the acceptance of irritating and painful situations. (Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:12; 1 Timothy 1:15-16)
  5. Kindness. This is a desire to treat others as our Lord treats us—with grace and mercy. It’s a genuine concern for others. (Matthew 11:28-29; Matthew 19:13-14; 2 Timothy 2:24)
  6. Goodness. Commanded of us, this is acting with moral and spiritual excellence—walking with the righteousness that has been bestowed on us by Jesus. (Romans 6:10; 2 Thessalonians 1:11)
  7. Faithfulness. This is loyalty and trustworthiness—to family, friends, employers. (Lamentations 3:22; Philippians 2:7-9; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; Revelation 2:10)
  8. Gentleness. This is a humble attitude of quiet submission. It’s the lack of desire for retribution when wronged (ouch). It’s surrender to the will of God. (Colossians 3”12; James 1:21; Ephesians 4:2)
  9. Self-control. This is restraint. It’s putting a muzzle on our passions and appetites to engage in worldly pursuits that bring holy ramifications. (1 Corinthians 9:25; Proverbs 25:27-28; Titus 2:11-12)

“Lord, when I surrendered to You, I received the Holy Spirit to empower me to live differently than the world. Help me to walk a fruit-filled life.”


For His Glory

Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life

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