But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Written by: Kyle Glenn
To be honest with you, when I read this list I am overwhelmed. I feel like if I had to be graded on this list at the end of each day I would fail. It would be easy to compare how I am doing on this list to other followers of Jesus. God does not ask me to keep such a list on my own power, and God does not grade on a curve. He looks at us through the lens of what Jesus has done and not what I have done or not done. The reality is this is an impossible list to keep in my own strength. The list is not the “fruits of my effort,” “my ability,” or “my strength.” The good news is these are the fruits of the Spirit.
When I am in tune with the Spirit, there is no religion, law, or rules forcing me or making me be kind, good, and gentle. These fruits will simply spill over into my life.
Think specifically about an apple tree. When you see an apple at the end of a branch, what do you think came first, the apple or the tree? Which comes first in this passage? The fruit or the Spirit? A person who has said “Yes” to Jesus in faith is experiencing the fruit of the Spirit. But the fruit has roots. Think about that apple tree. Do the apples on the tree make it alive? No—if you tied apples onto a dead tree’s branches, that wouldn’t make it alive. The life produces the fruit; not the other way around.
When you experience true peace, it points to something greater at work in you! It is the Spirit that produces the fruit in your life.
Thought of the day: It is worth looking closely at the list of fruits of the Spirit again. Is there a characteristic from the list that is lacking in your life? If so, which one? What do you think this is revealing about your relationship with the Spirit? What one thing can you do throughout the day today to be more in tune with the Spirit?
Prayer: Father, help me to walk in the Spirit today. Help me to listen to You and, as a result, may people see You through me today. In Jesus’ name, amen.