Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Fruit of the Spirit

But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.  (Galatians 5:22-23; The Message)

Can you name the list?  ...The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

We often call them fruits of the spirit, although the passage above from New Revised Standard Version calls all of them together "fruit."  Either way, these are gifts God gives to us through the Holy Spirit.  Right?

On Sunday, someone called them Christian values.  I think we do value them as gifts, but I worry that calling them values implies that they are personality characteristics that we strive to achieve.  They aren't, as far as I understand them.  I believe Paul is telling us that when we live a life for God, that these are the result - that they are gifts given to us by God.  On my own, I might not be able to achieve peace, for example.  I might value it, but achieving it on my own, no matter how hard I strive to live a peaceful life, is going to be impossible.  But living with God, I can be gifted with peace, and it might show in the way I live my life.

These are gifts, not accomplishments.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home