But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Pastor John’s Notes:
The first fruits of the Spirit are those of the inner life: love, joy, and peace. The second fruits are those of the relational life: patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness. The third is that self-governance, which is self-control. Yesterday we examined the fruits of the inner life. Today, let’s consider the fruit of our relational life: the patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness that comes by the Holy Spirit.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about the level of hatred displayed by our elected officials on both sides of the political aisle. It’s been going on for years, and more and more people seem to be drawn into the fray. Common courtesy and simple kindness are seldom seen. I can’t imagine what such acute, constant bitterness does to a human soul year after year. At this point, it doesn’t even matter who wins. Everyone is losing.
Jesus wants something better for his people. He has given us his Holy Spirit so that we can share in the character of God, who is patient and kind to everyone, sinners that we all are. Kindness not only benefits the recipient, but it also heals the soul of the giver. Those who forgive are as blessed as the people who receive their forgiveness. And the fruit of the Spirit is available to everyone who opens their life to Jesus Christ. We don’t have to live this way anymore! We only need to turn to Christ and he will heal our world. Whether or not others choose the path of kindness, we can choose to follow in his way.
Lord Jesus Christ, come and heal our world. Save us from the deep and bitter pit into which we have fallen. Restore and heal our relationships. Teach us to pursue the grace and kindness that comes through your Holy Spirit. Let us live as agents of peace in each area of responsibility you give us.