When I read Galatians 5:22, I am immediately transported back to my childhood days attending VBS and singing “The Fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…”
How easy it was then to say and live out these words as a child. As I grew older, the pull of a sinful world began to muffle those pure characteristics with the words of the world. The words became “sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies…” I began to blur the lines of Godliness and those of a sinful world.
There was a time in my past when I pursued the acts of the flesh over the fruit of the spirit. It was a dark time for me, a time where I knew God was calling out for me, but I was so ashamed and scared I kept running. I no longer had the fruit of the spirit. Instead, I was angry, filled with hatred and like the Israelites I went in my own direction.
Isaiah writes about God’s wrath on Israel when she sinned against the very God that brought her out of exile. Instead of living out God’s commandments the Israelites relied on themselves, their idols, their customs, their way. They began to live in conflict with each other, the surrounding nations and with God. We too, in many ways, are living like Israel. When we are in conflict we forget to live in the fruit of the Spirit. We turn to anger, revenge, hatred – all the things that God detests. But, there is hope! Our God is not one to leave us; he has redeemed us! His mercies are new every morning. Every morning when we wake up we have a new chance to live out the fruit of the Spirit, to love our neighbours as ourselves, to serve one another, to live a redeemed life.
Isaiah 49:7 reminds us that we are chosen by the faithful, Holy One of Israel. He hasn’t and he won’t be leaving us behind!
As you go about your day, hum that little tune of the fruit of the spirit to help remind you of what we are living for!
Wife, Mother, crazy organizing/planner girl who loves GOD more than anything.