Have you ever gone back to read what you thought you already knew? I have. For roughly a year and a half, I’ve been revisiting previously read books–including certain passages of the Bible. Over the past week, something, likely the Holy Spirit, compelled me to read about the Fruits of the Spirit.
I couldn’t remember the exact passage, so I hopped on Google. To my surprise, Galatians 5:22 reads “But the fruit of the Spirit is…” Notice the singular form of the word fruit. There is only ONE Fruit of the Spirit.
Like me, you know the Fruit of the Spirit is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” A list of nine items made me think there were that many fruits of the Spirit. These items are only attributes.
Say, what? Attributes.
Let’s use a grape as an example. Better, yet. Let’s use the Concord grape, since it is used in many communion wines. The Concord grape has the following characteristics: bluish purple, round, sweet, aromatic, thin skin, large seeds. The conditions in which this grape grows is responsible for its attributes, or characteristics.
Like the grape, the condition of how we grow as Christians in our walk with God determines our character(istics).
How to Exemplify the Fruit of the Spirit in Trying Times
I think my current storm brought me to studying the Fruit of the Spirit. My present situation is like the weather. Although the hurricane is off the coast, it spurs high winds, rain, and even tornados inland. This one problem I’m facing has caused an onslaught of problems in other areas of my life.
Like the lowly human I am, my behavior and attitude changed. Anger came. Then, I started lashing out. It took my sister reminding me of the things that I’ve been praying for.
Have you noticed that receiving a blessing is like laboring to bring a baby into the world? No matter how much nesting a woman does, nothing prepares her for the pains of delivering the baby she prayed to receive. But, I digress. This is about exemplifying the Fruits during trying times.
Before anything, you must know that there is only one fruit with nine attributes. To gain these attributes, you must walk in the Spirit by having a relationship with God. Often we become frustrated with Him because of messes we’ve made or because of messes other people made that affect us. Instead of setting our minds on things above (Colossians 3:2), we focus on our worldly problems wishing for a spiritual outcome.
The only way to exemplify the Fruit of the Spirit is by walking in (with) the Spirit.
Read your Bible.
Pray for yourself.
Pray for others–including your enemies.
Ask for forgiveness for yourself.
Forgive others–especially those who went out of their way to hurt you.
Fellowship with others.
Give. Be selfless.