Now, I know what you are thinking, because I have thought it many times myself… I look at that list and think, yah.. patience… not rocking it there, or Self-control… what’s that? IF God has given us this fruit of the Spirit how come it seems like I have some of them but not all of them?
Again, think fruit, think organic, think growth. we are all developing.
All the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit are in you, some are just more developed than others. When it comes to parenting, maybe you have a great love for your kids, but the patience is still growing. Maybe self-control is strong, but gentleness is still developing. We are not perfect, we are not fully mature in our faith, we still have areas that God is improving and refining, or to use a bigger theological word, sanctifying.
But we can be highly encouraged and motivated by realizing that if we are cooperate with what God is doing in us, then we will truly see that a Spirit led parent will have a fruit filled home
Let’s take a closer look at what God has given us in Christ through the Spirit. And even have a small self-inspection moment.
LOVE (agapē) – not merely affectionate feelings, but a self-denying and self-sacrificing act of the will to freely give of oneself to another
Question – Am I growing in my love for others without being motivated by the hope that I will receive something in return, but to just love others freely like Christ loves me freely?
JOY – a deep and lasting supernatural delight, rooted in the Lord and His purposes, present in both good and bad circumstances.
Question – Am I experiencing a regular joy in my life that is dependent on God rather than things going my way?
PEACE – (eirēnē from Hebrew Shalom) – An inward calmness and well-being even in the midst of difficulties knowing that God is in control and I can rest in Him.
Question – Am I growing in a sense of peace in my life, even when I’m experiencing a little or massive hardships?
PATIENCE – (makrothumia) makros (long) thumos (temper) longsuffering, to put up with, holding back our temper even when provoked.
Question – Am I experiencing a greater ability to tolerate life’s irritations and inconveniences without lashing out?
KINDNESS – a compassionate and considerate attitude towards others and wanting to help them and meet their needs
Question – Am I noticing the needs of others and drawn to compassionately meet them?
GOODNESS – a character of holiness that God is working into your life leading to a greater love for what is good and right
Question – Am I experiencing growth in doing what is good. for me and for others, for the glory of God?
FAITHFULNESS – one who is reliable, trustworthy and has integrity
Question – Am I experiencing growth in integrity as others around me are experiencing a greater trust in my words and actions?
GENTLENESS – controlled strength, meekness but not weakness, strength wrapped in tenderness.
Question – Am I increasing in gentleness and tenderness in my words and actions as I interact with others?
SELF-CONTROL – keeping selfish and sinful desires and urges under control
Question – Am I experiencing less control by my sinful desires and more control of the Holy Spirit in my life?