But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law. Galatians 5 22-23
The Bible talks about many fruits of obedience in the Old and the New Testaments—conviction of sin, repentance, humility, etc. But Paul makes specific mentions of some attributes in Galatians as the fruit of the Spirit. This is Part 2 of an exhortation on that note as we continue our walk of faith in this world (you can find Part 1 here).
True conversion always results in biblical separation from the world. As God reconciles us to Himself, we gradually get away from whatever is displeasing to Him—and it manifests as peace. When our heavenly Father frees us from the passions of the world, His love harmonises all of life. And we gladly submit ourselves to His will.
Being peaceful is a reflection of knowing that Jesus is the anchor of our soul
Being peaceful is a reflection of knowing that Jesus is the anchor of our soul—an anchor that will hold forever. But when the world and its possessions matter more to us than Jesus, we neglect this gift that He offers us.
True peace is a gift God gives to the Christian who rests in His wisdom and sovereignty. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3). Our calling is to trust in the Lord alone and not in our understanding.
Constant anxiety and worry are contrary to such a life. And as we get trapped under the chaos of temporal cares and concerns, we lose focus of the eternal peace that we already have in Christ.
A sincere desire to live in peace—the peace that Jesus provides—will reflect in love for Jesus above everything else. Though today may cause us to worry, as children of God, we will rest in the One who holds the future.
Patience is the ability to receive trouble from others—or life itself—without reacting with an outburst of anger. In Greek, patience (“makrothumia”) means distant (“makro”) anger (“thumos”)—that is, to keep anger at bay. It is a fruit of the Spirit-filled Christian. God calls us to reflect His character by being slow to anger and abounding in love (Psalm 103:8).
Being patient towards people who trouble us—purposefully or not—is among the most difficult things to do. A self-righteous person cannot be patient; only always resentful to God and everyone else. But when we look to the cross and seek the Holy Spirit’s help, we will grow in long-suffering.
Perhaps it is also good to remember the biblical examples of patience. The world treated Jesus in the most gruesome way, but he reciprocated with compassion. In the OT, we see Job display his faith in God through his patience in long-term suffering.
God calls us to reflect His character by being slow to anger and abounding in love
It is the Holy Spirit who cultivates genuine kindness in us and causes it to flow out generously. The closest translation for the word in Greek means “usability”. In other words, God calls us to be kind in meeting the needs of others without expectations. The Samaritan who pays extra from his pocket to care for the wounded man is an example of this. We are to extend this kind of kindness to those who cannot thank us, those we disagree with, and everyone else.
Without the Spirit, whatever kindness we extend will only seem as though it is for others when they actually serve as self-love. If we are helpful to others only when it benefits us, we are exhibiting false kindness. In the social media age, being kind has become a trend to promote oneself.
On the other hand, genuine kindness flows from God; it is not a human ability—just like none of the attributes of the fruit of the Spirit is. Each child of the King has experienced much greater kindness than we could ever extend to others.
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