But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
At the a recent Fellowship meeting, Kimberly Lew shared a personal and heartfelt reminder on what it means to cultivate the fruit of the spirit. Her message let us in on her journey and also opened room in each of us to consider what type of “fruit farmer” we’ll be in the coming new year.
Here’s a brief summary of Kimberly’s talk and some thoughtful questions she included at the end. I hope we’ll all contemplate these values, and please, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.
Fruit of the Spirit
by Kimberly Lew
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
- Goodness: Growing up, it seemed obvious that I would do the “good” thing or the “right” thing. But it took maturity to know the difference between truly obeying God versus legalism.
- Joy: There’s a shallow kind of happiness that we can sometimes find for ourselves, through socializing and doing things we enjoy. But that is not always the same thing as the lasting, inner joy that we get through God.
- Kindness: We see how Jesus proceeded with so much kindness in his interactions with people. One example is the woman at the well. Here, it would be expected that Jesus would ignore her, but instead he accepts her for who she is and shares with her the precious gift of His living water.
- Love: We come to understand love in relationships. With our partners and spouses, we see deep connections that bring us together and keep us together. In the gospels, we see Jesus’ relationship with his friend, Lazarus, and how he loved Lazarus, weeping at the news of his passing.
- Peace: When we have peace, we trust in the unknown. It is good to remember that true inner peace comes from being in the Lord’s will and knowing you are following His plan for you. This is the kind of trust that the disciples needed, that Jesus will calm the storm.
- Faithfulness: Faithfulness amounts to true friendship. This is shown when Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
- Patience: A little bit ironic that we often need this more with the people we are close to than with strangers.
- Gentleness: My niece, baby Kaitlyn, is an awesome reminder of this.
- Self Control: It is difficult now. But our purpose is to follow Jesus on the cross, to daily take up our own cross.
- Which fruit has been prominent in your life?
- Which fruit do you need more of?
- What will you do this new year to abide more in Christ?