Galatians 5:22-23 – 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. (NIV)
When I read about the fruits of the Holy Spirit, I quickly realize how shallow I am, and that despite my best intentions, I can never display all of these blessings on any given day. I recognize my sinful shortcomings and become fully aware that I am usually to blame for the scarcity of these beautiful fruits in my life. I resolve to try harder to bear these gifts and share them with others, but then, something or someone annoys me, and I end up withering the fruits of the Spirit by smothering them with my own pride and selfish ways.
When Paul was writing to the Galatian Christians, he knew that they were also suffering from this spiritual deficit. They were undergoing an internal conflict which had the potential of disrupting the whole congregation. Paul's letter was sent to remind them of the gifts of the Spirit that had initially been experienced among them. He was hoping to encourage the Galatians to rediscover common ministries, missions, and purposes among them which would unite them again and make their witness to the wider community effective. They could not do this by themselves or by their own strength; they had to get back to relying on God and depending on the presence of the Holy Spirit in their own lives, as well as in their congregation.
In these days of spiritual turmoil in our churches and divisions within our denominations, Paul's message about the fruits of the Spirit is as relevant now as it was way back then. When we sincerely seek the presence of the Holy Spirit amongst us, then we are given an authentic calling to go out into the wider community in order to show and share those beautiful gifts — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control — to a broken world, which needs those fruits to be healed of all the fear and fragmentation which is dividing our people and desolating our planet.
Points to ponder: Which fruit of the Spirit could be most effective in my life at this time? Am I willing to ask and wait for the Spirit to work this gift into my life?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You promised to send Your Holy Spirit to us to build up our faith and our churches. Help us to seek the sacred fruits which the Spirit can offer, so that we may support one another and reach out to the wider community. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Footprints Of Jesus" (Lyrics)