So many people struggle to see past different opinions and views. It’s tearing us apart. As Christians, the Bible says we will be known by our fruit. By fruit, I mean the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the traits that we possess and show to people that we live in the ways of God.
We live in a broken society full of division. So many people struggle to see past different opinions and views. It’s tearing us apart. As Christians, the Bible says we will be known by our fruit. By fruit, I mean the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the traits that we possess and show to people that we live in the ways of God. The way we live and the fruits of the Spirit can speak volumes to those around us.
What Are the Fruits of the Spirit?
Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the holy spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these.” (NLT)
Living the Fruit of the Spirit: Love
I think people need love more than ever these days. There are so many people going through so many things that feel unseen, unheard, and unloved. This can be anything from a divorce to struggling with finances to being homeless. Look around and see who needs some love in your world. Here are some ways to show it.
Let someone know that you love them. Time is short, and it does not promise tomorrow. If you love someone, tell them and tell them why. This could be a friend, a coworker, or someone you are dating. It doesn’t matter, just tell them.
Give Someone a Hug
Hugs are a great way to show someone you love them and have many health benefits, including improved sleep, improved immunity, better heart health, reducing pain symptoms, and much, much more. Aim for a 5-10-second hug to get the ultimate benefit.
Okay, well, not just anyone. This should be your spouse or significant other. Kissing also has health benefits like reducing stress and anxiety, lowering blood pressure, soothing headaches, etc.
Hold Someone’s Hand
Sometimes, we don’t need an opinion or advice, just some human touch. Holding hands is a great way to show someone your love and support, and it can be done with a spouse, friend, or child.
Living the Fruit of the Spirit: Joy
There are many ways we experience joy and express our joy.
Joy in Our Lives
We can share our joy in the Lord with others. We do this by sharing what he has done for us and exhibiting in our lives and behaviors that we depend on him in every circumstance. We don’t sulk or complain; we persevere with joy in our hearts.
Joy in Helping Others
We can show the joy in our lives by helping others and recognizing their needs. You could help someone move, buy groceries for a single mom, or a meal for a homeless person.
Joy in Praying for Others
We should be glad to pray for others in their time of need. Praying for someone is one of the most loving things we can do for someone.
Fruit of the Spirit: Peace
Peace in Not Quarreling
We can show we live in peace by not arguing with other people. Instead, we should state our side tactfully.
Peace in the Lord
We can show people we live in peace by trusting the Lord in all things and not letting ourselves get riled up over things. Sure, we will have times when we worry or get frustrated. We’re human. As long as we remind ourselves to trust the Lord with the issue and pray about it, our peace will remain steadfast.
Fruit of the Spirit: Patience
Patience in Waiting on the Lord
We live in an instant gratification society where we want everything now. Sometimes, we even do this with the Lord, wanting him to do “it” right now. Instead, we need to have patience and wait on the Lord, for his timing is best.
I know this personally, as I have been waiting for the Lord to do something for a very long time. However, I have felt him say, “Be still and know that I am God.” Therefore, I continue to pray and wait for his timing. I have had people make suggestions on what to do on my end, and I tell them that the timing isn’t right and that the Lord will take care of it in his timing.
Patience with Others
We can live this fruit in our lives by having patience with others. Instead of getting upset, have patience with your child, the new coworker learning the job, or the driver ahead of you.
Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness
I think people need a lot of kindness these days also and there are many ways we can show this fruit in our lives.
Smile at Someone
You never know what a smile can do. It may be the highlight of someone’s day.
Give someone a compliment, whether it’s their hairstyle, their outfit, how they do their job, or something else.
Let Someone in Your Lane of Traffic
If traffic is down to one lane and people are trying to get in, let them. They didn’t see the sign to merge until they got right up on it.
Do Something Just Because
Leave water bottles and snacks out for the USPS/FedEx/UPS driver. Bake a treat for your child’s class. Get a gift card from your child for the bus driver. Mow your neighbor’s lawn. Text an old friend or connect with them on Facebook.
Pay it Forward in the Drive-Thru
Start a pay-it-forward chain in the drive-thru. You never know who you will help. It could be the single mom down to her last twenty dollars, the man with a long commute who forgot his wallet, or the soccer mom who is short on cash.
There are millions of ways to be kind to those around us. Think of some great ways and go for it.
Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness
Goodness means a lot of things, like morality and uprightness. In biblical terms, it means holy and righteousness. Goodness also refers to how God guides and protects us.
Showing Goodness to Others
We can show goodness to others. First, we can show them goodness by thanking God for his goodness by guiding and protecting us. There are many other ways we can show goodness to others.
Wave at Someone
Just like a smile, waving at a friend or neighbor may make their day.
Help someone load their groceries into their car. Offer to change someone’s tire. If you have a specific skill, help someone with your gift. Offer to babysit for the single mom next door so she can have some time to herself.
Express gratitude to your housekeeper for their hard work. Show appreciation to your child's school bus driver and teachers for their hard work. Don't forget to thank the barista who prepares your coffee. Show appreciation to your spouse for all their hard work. Take a moment to thank your coworkers for everything they do. There are lots of people in our everyday lives that we are thankful for. Let them know.
Forgive someone in your life who has hurt you. Many people struggle with this, both offenders and those who need to forgive. Show them grace and forgive them. It will be good for both of you.
Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness
There are many ways we can show faithfulness to others.
Showing Faithfulness in the Lord
We can show this by having an unwavering faith in the Lord and not allowing our thoughts and practices to follow the world. We can also do this by choosing to do what is right every time and to always obey God’s rules. Another way we can do this is by trusting the Lord. Reading our Bibles and praying daily is another way to show our faithfulness.
Being Faithful to Our Spouses
We can show our faithfulness by being committed to our spouses and families.
Fruit of the Spirit: Gentleness
The Bible defines gentleness as showing care and respect for others in the way you speak and act. This is something else that people need desperately. Ways we can show gentleness include:
Being Considerate of Other's Feelings and Needs
Take the time to listen to those around you and find out how they feel and what their needs are. Be an active listener and show them you care.
Show people you can relate to how they feel and what they are going through.
Remember the Golden Rule
Always treat others how you want to be treated.
Even if you disagree with someone, always show them the utmost respect and consideration.
Fruit of the Spirit: Self-Control
Self-control is the most important fruit that we must master and show other people. It is also one of the hardest. There are many ways we need to control ourselves so that we can live a godly life and be an example to others.
Living a Godly Life
We must resist temptation and live our lives under God’s will. This is the most significant example we can set.
Controlling Our Words
In the heat of the moment, it is easy for us to let our words loose and say whatever is on our minds. However, we must learn to control our tongues and our words. The tongue is the strongest muscle in the body; it can build up or destroy.
Controlling Our Emotions
It is important for us to keep our emotions in check so as not to hurt someone else or ourselves. It’s natural for our emotions to boil over from time to time. Once again, we are human. We aren’t perfect. However, learning to keep our emotions in check is important.
Controlling Our Actions
We must also be in control of our actions so we don’t do something rash and regret the consequences later. Controlling our actions saves ourselves and others from much hurt later.
Living a life full of the fruits of the Spirit is one of the best examples of Christ we can set. Take some time this week and manifest the fruits of the Holy Spirit for those around you.