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Growing in Godliness


“ 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.”

Galatians 5:22-23  (NIV)


This scripture is fairly well known.  I would guess that many, who attended some form of church school, would know this from a childhood lesson.  But do you really know it?

Similar to the difference between knowing of God and knowing God, or believing in God vs believing God, this often quoted scripture becomes a jewel of great value once it moves from words on a page to reality in our lives.

For me this took years, for others it becomes a reality of their existence faster, but no longer how long it takes, the time is well spent in allowing the Spirit to grow these fruits in our lives.

Just take love for example.  Growing in love started when I began praying that God would allow me to see people they way he sees them.  In the space of one post, I cannot share all the differences that occurred in me as the Holy Spirit began to grow this fruit in me.  You see God loves ALL people, not just the church-goers, or the faithful.  He loves all.  So, as this fruit grows in me, I learn to love all as well.  One way this bore fruit is that I found myself much less judgmental.

I began to realize the things that really irritated me in others, were those things that were true of me as well.  Ugh!  That was rough, but it was true.  In the process I learned more about myself, and began to clean out some ugly stuff, thereby becoming even more loving and understanding.

I also began to realize that, in actuality, I have no idea what a person is dealing with in their life at any given moment.  Therefore, how can I criticize or complain, or think negatively about them?  For example, when the bank teller said, “Have a nice day” as I pulled away from the drive-thru window.  She did not know my dad had just died that morning.  I was only 23 and he meant everything to me.  I was NOT going to have a nice day.  My world was falling apart.  It was eye-opening in my young life to discover that the world goes on despite our private world circumstances.

Keeping that in mind, I do not know what the reason is that a car speeds past me on the berm of the freeway, shocking me at first, and then sending ripples of anger through my body.  I used to be so angry when this happened.  Now, I pray for the person.  No matter what the reason for their choice, impatience with traffic, a wife about to give birth, a meeting he/she will be late to, gasoline tank on it last drops, or just a need to get to the bathroom, there was a reason for that choice and I don’t know what it was.  Am I to presume he/she is a jerk?  No.  It is not in my list of skills to read their minds, or know their hearts.  It just might be an emergency.  And so I pray.  My anger leaves, and love prevails.

I can tell you that my life is immeasurably better because God has made me more lovable to others, by giving me a bit of his love for people.

Watch for more posts about these fruits and their value in our lives.

heart_11119cUntil then, I pray that their fruits will become real in your life as well.


From → Renew, Spirituality

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