September 21, 2011 Ė Fabulous Fruit or Happy Hippies?
But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]. Ė Galatians 5:22-23 AMP
There are nine fruits of the Spirit. Paul said if we live by the leading of the Holy Spirit then no one can truthfully say anything bad about us or bring a legal charge against us. Our lives will show these nine qualities in everything we do if we allow the Holy Spirit to work through us.
Have you ever met anyone who shows these qualities? I have. Have you in turn spent time with them and then seen that their fruit as not what you thought it was? Have I ever! At first I thought these people were so happy that they burped up rainbows when they woke up every morning. They were always happy, at least in front of me. But their children were either weird or out of control. That should always be a big flag. When someone is truly showing the fruits of the Holy Spirit, you can best bet the lives of their children will show it as well.
Now I am by no means saying that we should go around all smiles every day. For example, we are still allowed to get angry, but the fruit of the Spirit would have us be self-controlled and not sin in our anger. If we thought we couldnít have emotions and feelings contrary to the fruits of the Spirit then we should all forsake Christianity and become marijuana smoking hippies. Those guys are happy all of the time. But Jesus doesnít want us to be hippies: He wants us to listen to Him, be led by the Holy Spirit, and bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit in all we do. Itís not a matter of checking our emotions at the door, but just making sure the result of our emotions bear the fruit of the Spirit.
This again is where our choices come into play. We have to choose to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. The funny thing is that some people make these nine fruits of the Spirits something unattainable by even the best Super-Christian out there. That is a lie. In fact, we have an uncle, who would be looked down upon by most ďChristiansĒ. He is one of the most loving and fun people to be around youíll ever meet. Heís one of those guys who would give you the shirt off his back if he thought you needed it. And he does it just because itís his nature. If it comes that easy to him, how much easier should it be for Christians to behave that way? A Christianís mission in life should be to live a life pleasing to God. Sounds like a slam dunk to me.
I have to admit that itís hard for me at times to bear these nine fruits in my life. When we first started this website, we were hit one day with an email containing lots of information but also wanting my opinion on it. After looking it over, I responded and was immediately hit with subsequent emails from this individual. My flesh wanted to respond with lots of Scripture to prove I was right, a proverbial Biblical slap as I like to call it. But thank God for my wonderful better half, Marlo. She was able to calm me down and in turn I decided not to respond to his other emails. My initial response was kind so I left it at that. Like many other Christians, I was trying to bear a burden for Him instead of bearing fruit in my life.
So whatís the fruit in your life? Is it like the orange you pick ripe from the tree? You can smell its freshness before you peel it open. Then once you peel it, thereís so much juice it runs down your arms and drips off your elbows. Or is it like the orange you buy in a grocery store, shipped in from another country, picked green? When you peel it open, it is firm and bitter and you canít even smell its freshness from the outside. You end up throwing it away because itís not worth eating. Whatever the case, they both look the same on the outside. Anyone can see our Christianity, whether it is by the shirt on our back or the Jesus fish on our car, but itís the inside that counts. The key to our fruit is just like the orange: it is the heart. When our hearts are right toward God, the Holy Spirit works wonders through us. Our fruit will be fabulous. And like Paul said, thereís not a law in existence that can touch that.
Read more articles by David Wells or search for articles on the same topic or others.