But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5: 22-26 (New International Version)
Do you find that everyone around you is either angry, miserable, dissatisfied or something along that line? Do you know anyone who is always miserable, never satisfied or constantly feels like the world is out to get them? How comfortable are you in the presence of such individuals? If you find yourself feeding their feelings, you may want to consider what characteristics you yourself are exhibiting.
People by nature will gravitate towards those who are pleasant, uplifting and encouraging but those with evil intentions will seek to destroy peace. Take heed lest your accommodating nature be used as a tool in tarnishing another’s character. Do not use anyone’s ear as a garbage bin and do not allow anyone to use yours as such. Be on guard and firmly but lovingly decline the opportunity. It’s not always the easiest thing to do but God will give you the boldness and the strength to do it. As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3
We may live and work with those who do not share our passion for the things of God but we ought to be examples to those who don’t know Him. Who are you attracted to? Who do you attract? Is your speech encouraging, uplifting and seasoned with grace? Does your life reflect love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Be careful how you view others and how you speak of them. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. We may fool ourselves and those around us into thinking that we are bearing the fruit of the Spirit but God will know for sure whether our fruit is real or counterfeit.
Father, the Christian walk requires that we completely entrust all we have and all we are to One who is so much more able to order our steps. Your love for us will often lead us in directions we’d rather not go but we believe You have a purpose for each person you cause us to cross paths with. Help us to live by the Spirit so we would not fulfil our own sinful desires. Your word never changes and You will never ask us to disobey You to obey You. Teach us to live in such a way that the fruit of our lips matches the fruit of the Spirit and that we will be sold out and committed to You regardless of where we are, who we are with or what trials we face. Help us to be living examples of Christ within us. Amen