Did you know that coffee comes from a fruit? A cherry, to be exact. Just like a coffee cherry is the foundation of how you’re able to enjoy your cup of coffee each morning, the foundation for each of us is what the bible calls, the “fruit of the spirit“. If you’re not familiar or need a quick refresher, the “fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV).
As you read that you probably did a mental checklist, like such, “I got that, that, that, uh-huh, yep, I’m full of patience….”. And that’s great! We all should strive every day to be all of the fruits of the spirit. But, can we let you in on a secret? We personally fall short of all those things. Sometimes we don’t feel like loving the guy that cut us off without using his turn signal. We start tapping our feet and huffing and puffing when the person in front of us at the grocery store is taking forever and we just want to get home to watch The Walking Dead! We’ve all been guilty of it, but that doesn’t mean we’re bad people. It just means that we need a little nudge to get us back in the right direction.
As Christians, these are the qualities we should strive for. But, we can’t work on them by ourselves. We need others to help refine those traits. In the bible it says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17 NIV).
We live in a world filled with people who are all about ME, ME, ME and climbing up the ladder, whether it means stepping on other people or not. But, that’s not what God wants and that’s not what Jesus did. Jesus showed love to the unlovable, he had dinner with the “outcasts” of society and he gave hope to the hopeless. So, why do we struggle to do the same? We need accountability partners – people who will remind us to turn our eyes back to God and back to his message of love.
The fruits of the spirit is just the foundation of who we are as Christians. Just think about the many people we interact with on a day-to-day basis. Something as simple as smiling and asking the barista how their day is as they’re ringing up your coffee order – that’s showing them kindness. Celebrating with a friend who got a job promotion is joy instead of envy. Praying for the person at school who makes fun of you, instead of wanting to hurt them back is showing self-control instead of hatred. These are traits that people must see first and want to be closer to you or ask themselves what is it that makes you so different.
Yes, we want to tell people we’re Christians, but by showing the fruits of the spirit that IS telling the world you’re different. So, this week we’re starting off with a question for you to think about throughout the week:
Which fruit of the spirit will you work on this week? Which one will you ask a friend to help you with that you might be struggling with right now?
For us, we’re both going to work on gentleness and patience. We struggle with each of the fruits of the spirit, but those two are the ones we struggle with the most. We need to practice being patient while waiting in the long lines at the Costco gas station after a long day of work and we need to practice gentleness by forgiving those who are hurting and angry and projecting those feelings onto others. We’re going to hold each other accountable this week and we’re excited to see the changes that occur as we become more mindful of how we interact with others or how we react to a situation. We hope this message finds you well and lifts you up today wherever you may be! Definitely email us or sound off in the comments to discuss what specific fruit of the spirit you want to work on this week – we’d love to hear!