When the Apostle Paul wrote on the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ in Galatians 5:22-23, I believe he listed them for one basic reason; which is, to remind us to stay connected to the source. It’s unlikely that Paul intended to give them out as goals or mandates because we are not producers of fruit. Too often, we forget that we are the branches and God is the true vine. Thus, God’s Holy Spirit produces the fruit while we are merely bearers of it. As believers, how freeing it is to understand the Christian life is a matter of allowing Jesus to live His life in and through us.
Just about everywhere I go, I notice individuals are starving for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and all the other graces of the Spirit. This includes church-going-people as well. If they happen to see these characteristics in our lives, perhaps they will want to know God more intimately. Incidentally, we don’t bear fruit for our own satisfaction; we let these graces flow out of us that others might be fed, nurtured and helped. Albeit, the greatest outcome is that God may be glorified in all that we are.
Do you remember the first Psalm? It parallels easily with Paul’s fruit of the Spirit: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither and whatever he does shall prosper”
Sure enough, with the Holy Spirit’s enabling, we can become oceans of grace for a world of souls drowning in seas of—loneliness, guilt, pain, devastation and any other heartbreaking situation. Grant it Lord, Amen.