Once we come to Christ for salvation from our sinful lifestyle and its consequences, God’s Holy Spirit gradually sanctifies us from one stage of glory to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18).
He replaces the carnal aspect of our soul – our thoughts, emotions and choices – with His spiritual fruit:
Hatred with love
Depression with true joy
Discontentment with peace
Irritation with patience
Criticism with gentleness
Backbiting with goodness
Pride with meekness
Excess with self-control
Worry with the faith of God
What do these spiritual fruit mean?
Love – affection for others
Joy – exuberance about life
Peace – serenity
Patience – willingness to stick with it
Gentleness – compassion from the heart
Goodness – kindness that pervades our entire being
Meekness – humility and service
Self-Control – guided by the Spirit
Faith – trust that God knows what He’s doing
As we view these traits filling our soul, we know that our spiritual maturity is increasing and our carnality is decreasing (John 3:30). Serving one another with God’s love enables us to meet each other’s needs more freely.
God’s Spirit teaches us to consider another’s feelings and needs before we make our decisions, and to work toward a compromise in every disagreement (Matthew 5:5, 9).
Changing to a positive focus allows us to minimize our destructive attitude toward another’s flaws, weaknesses and negative character. God replaces our pride with His humility (Matthew 5:3).
We have more mercy and compassion on others, because we see our own short-comings with clarity. If we allow Him to do so, the Holy Spirit will control and guide every moment of our life.
God’s fruit impacts every aspect of our life. We feel more peaceful, joyful and fulfilled within; and we get along better with our spouse, family, co-workers, associates, church members and community (Matthew 5:6).
Father God, please remind us that as we forgive the slights and meanness toward us (Matthew 5:7), encourage one another more, and show gratitude for even the smallest kindness, thoughtfulness or caring act, then we learn to cherish each other; and our intimacy between us and You, as well as with other people increases.
Serving one another with Your love enables us to meet each other’s needs more freely. You teach us to consider another’s feelings and needs before we make our decisions, and to work toward a compromise in every disagreement (Matthew 5:5, 9). We want to learn to support each other during periods of outward crisis and peril, lies and rejection, discouragement and defeat (Matthew 5:10).
Thought for the Day:
Many of the reactions we receive from others are caused by our own attitude or behavior toward them; we trigger or inflict a wound in their soul, and they defend their self or attack us in response; however, when we allow God’s Spirit to take the ascendency in our life and attitude, we are salt and light in this dark, hurting world (Matthew 5:13-14).