Bearing Fruit

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another. -Galatians 5:22-26

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control. These virtues are highly valued, though in my experience, frustratingly difficult to produce of our own merit.

As things get more stressful with the holiday season and with an increase in workload at my job, I'm reminded of how much I fall short in these areas on my own. I certainly am not patient. I am not always loving. I don't think kind thoughts all the time or treat people with gentleness. And my self-control is very much lacking.

The good news is we aren't going through this life alone. We weren't meant to, and we don't have to. We have those who have chosen to walk beside us, those who can encourage us along the way when things get bumpy and who love us enough to gently point us back to these virtues when we have lost sight of them. To those people in my life, I would like to say thank you.

And we have the Holy Spirit, working in us every day to make us more like Christ, if only we would choose to embrace His way instead of following our own. The more we increasingly submit our lives and our ways to Him, the more we begin to look like Him, bearing fruit, exhibiting patience, exuding love and kindness. We exchange our vices for His virtues. Only in Him can we exchange our bitterness for joy, selfishness for goodness, and our fickleness for faithfulness. How beautiful is that?