This post is going to be a sort of introduction/teaser post for my upcoming fruits of the spirit series. I can not even describe how much I love studying the fruits of the spirit. They are just such a great way to keep yourself on track as you try and become more like Christ.
That being said, this post would not be off to a good start without the fruits of the spirit verse itself:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." - Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
Galatians 5:22-23 comes right after a list of some of the works of the flesh. This is a great list to look at if you want to possibly see any hidden sin in your life because some of the works are things that you probably wouldn't put too much emphasis on if you weren't trying to. However, I love how it is followed by the fruits of the spirit because these things aren't necessarily found by yourself, i.e., they're not works. You need God (and the Holy Spirit, of course) to help you exhibit these virtues in your life. Yes, you may have to want them, but you can't bear these fruits by yourself. Some people may be frustrated that they need help with something, and usually I would agree, but when it comes to spiritual matters, it gives me so much peace to know that I don't have to do it alone. If I did, I would have probably given up by now, to be honest.
And becoming like Christ is not something that happens overnight by your own volition. It is a constant process that can only be achieved by being in the presence of God.
"Imitate me, just as I imitate Christ." - 1 Corinthians 11:1 (AMP)
"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." - Ephesians 5:1-2 (ESV)
But what is the point of aiming to be more like Christ?
There is no worldly benefit to this process, but it all has to do with making it easier to help God work through our lives. We can't fulfill the plans that God has for our lives if our lives do not look like God. These plans aren't for us - they're for God's kingdom, and if you want to join God in these plans, you have to spend time with Him and you have to try to live the way Christ would.
"For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps." - 1 Peter 2:21 (ESV)
"Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit." - Matthew 12:33
This isn't to say that life like Christ is always easy. There will be rough times along the way. People will get on your nerves, you'll feel cranky, or maybe you will just feel tired of life as it is. However, I know that God will not punish you for doing His will. He will bless the people that honor Him. It may not always seem like it, but I promise that everything will turn out good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.
"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." - Galatians 6:9 (ESV)
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What fruit of the spirit are you currently working on? Let me know in the comments below! (I'm personally working on peace because peace (or joy, too) is just such a great condition to be in.)