The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Galatians 5:22-23 (RSV)
During Sunday dinner at a restaurant, my husband stared at my new jacket. Sporting splotches of fall's bright red, orange, yellow and brown colors, it reminded me of harvest time.
"Did I spill something?" I asked.
"Who can tell?" was the reply.
Returning home, I put the jacket away and wondered how often Christian life intersects with that question. "Who can tell?" Are we so busy that one spiritual fruit dropped into the mix just disappears? Hopefully, anyone who comes near sees a whole person living a life dedicated to Christ, not somebody wearing a jacket with superficial splashes of Christianity plopped down here and there.
Following his list, Paul concentrates on the first spiritual fruit, love. It's the one which dominates as he talks about the Lord's teaching, "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Gal 5:14b). Then he ends by stating that those belonging to Christ have crucified their passions and desires of the flesh. He also encourages his readers to walk by the Lord's teachings.
Paul's explanation shows that the fruit of the Spirit is internal, not external. The spiritual fruits serve to identify Christians because they are embedded for eternity. Anyone led by the Spirit will, by nature, exhibit the fruit which arises, like the colors of autumn, from the heart of our Creator.
Lord, may our hearts allow you to lead us to be identified as Christians. Amen
© 2011 V. Colclasure