I love the fruit of the Spirit. I know this may sound trite but it’s not my intent. I love seeing other people exhibit joy and love and peace and…you get the point. I believe we will know them by their fruit.
Matthew 7:15-20 says the following, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
I appreciate the fruit of the Spirit because in this crazy world everything and everyone is confused. This list gives us hope and direction but it gives us discernment as well. I have had many situations where people will say to me, “Are you a Christian? The way to responded in that situation I just witnessed makes me think you are.” Or, “your smile is makes me believe that your joy comes straight from your heart.” Christians should be able to recognize each other. Are other Christians recognizing you?
And, more importantly, when we live the fruits of the Spirit by following the leading of the Holy Spirit, we will stick out like a sore thumb in this world. People will notice the difference in you. AND THIS IS NOT A THEATER EXERCISE. Living for God is not a performance. It is living how God wants YOU to live today. It’s being in tune with the Holy Spirit through prayer and Bible study. It is very personal and individual to YOU.
Then, when they find out the reason for the difference in you, being that you live for Christ Jesus, you have a huge responsibility. HUGE. Your responses, your attitudes, your words, your sincerity, your love, your joy, your faith, your forgiving spirit will be watched. You are NOT perfect, you are human like the rest of us, but the way you live your life when you think no one is watching is so important.
Let your responses be filled with grace and mercy for others. Let God guide your responses…sometimes this will be a huge struggle, because life is unfair and you will want to respond in your own way. That’s normal but may prayer for you is that you will allow God to live through you to the people around you. Draw close to Him and allow the fruits of the spirit to be your first response.
Be the fruit!