“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23
Read these verses and it is easy to get overwhelmed. I once graded myself on each fruit using the A-F scale. Let’s just say my self-grading showed I needed to go to the remedial fruit of the Spirit class.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is what shows up in our lives as God works. What if instead focusing on every fruit and being overwhelmed, we focused on what we needed right now?
- If I am dealing with an annoying person in my life, I need to ask God for the fruit of love (You know, that whole ‘love your enemies’ thing). I can start by praying for God to bring good to that annoying person.
- If I feel stuck in a rut, I need to ask God for the fruit of joy. Maybe he will open my eyes to the joy he is bringing through his work in the world.
- If I am struggling with a destructive habit or an addiction, I need to ask God for the fruit of peace. All destructive habits and addictions start with a lack of peace in our souls.
- If I am feeling overwhelmed, like there is too much life and not enough me, I need to ask God for the fruit of patience. Patience comes from trust that my God has me and will help me get done everything he asks me to do.
- If I am struggling with anxiety or depression, I need to ask God for the fruit of kindness. Anxious and depressed people are not kind to themselves. As you fill up with the kindness of God, he teaches you to be kind not just to others, but to yourself.
- If I struggle with money (and who doesn’t), I need to ask God for the fruit of generosity. I only win over money, my wants, and my desires, when I let go. Generosity is an expression of faith –that God will supply all my needs through Christ Jesus.
- If I am stuck in a dead-end job, I need to ask God for the fruit of faithfulness. The way to advance is to be faithful in what I do, as if I am doing it for Jesus.
- If I am struggling with my temper, I need to ask God for the fruit of gentleness. To live a gentle life is not to be a weakling, but is to gain control of myself so my strength is used wisely, not harmfully.
- If I feel like I am drifting through life, I need to ask God for the fruit of self-control. Most people who drift through life aren’t lacking direction; they are lacking self-control to move in the direction they need to go.
Imagine you are standing with Jesus in the spiritual fruit section of his gift store. Think about what’s going on in your life. What fruit do you need to ask for?