“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
I suspect I’m not the only one who has, at some point, unconsciously seen the fruit of the Spirit as a checklist of how I should strive to act, so I can be acceptable to God and church. Especially church. But that mindset falls apart the moment you get rejected, offended, or disappointed, and you find the fruit of performing to get the approval of God and everyone else is pretty rotten.
The fruit of the Spirit are exactly that—the natural, positive results of the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. They’re the keys to letting God lead you in a transforming, thriving relationship with him, renewing your thinking and freeing your heart as he teaches you to live them. Let them become an ongoing revelation of who wants to be for you every day, and the foundation of who you are in him:
Let love be your motivation: that all you think, say, and do would cultivate and overflow the identity, intimacy, and intentionality God’s love empowers.
Let joy be your mindset: that joy would be your reset, the place where you live regardless of what’s happening around you.
Let peace be your decision-maker: that God’s peace would determine how you process life and make choices.
Let patience be your companion: that you’ll won’t resent changes in direction or paths through the wilderness, but will embrace and enjoy the journey with him.
Let kindness be your defense: that your intimacy with God would be so powerful, you can be kind, honoring, and a blessing even to those who hate you.
Let goodness be your guide: that wherever you see an opportunity to experience or give away God’s goodness, that’s where you go.
Let faithfulness be your resolve: that on days you know nothing else, you know with certainty Jesus loves you, and that his faithfulness toward you means you can start over from there.
Let gentleness be your voice: that you’re so secure in his truth, you don’t have to yell, control, or manipulate, but love to listen, laugh, and bless.
Let self-control be your energy: that God’s presence would equip you to make good choices, and empower you to live each day in God’s grace, wisdom, and purposefulness.