Galatians 5:22–23 (NKJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
There are a number of ways we can tell the world that we are believers. We can, of course, wear the overly expensive sportswear that proclaims “I can do all things through Christ,” we can wear WWJD bracelets, we can have the Jesus fish proudly displayed on our bumper, the list goes on and on. How much better would it be if the world knew we were Christian from the fruit of the Spirit?
The verses prior to this section speak of worldly attributes associated with our sin nature and the works of the flesh. These very visible attributes include adultery, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, hatred, jealousy, envy, murder, and drunkenness among many others. It is very easy sometimes to tell those that have not found Christ yet. Their lives filled with foul speech, their time spent in lewd behavior, some in a constant state of drunkenness. As easy as it is to see the works of the flesh, it should be that much easier to see the fruit of the Spirit.
It is no mistake that that word love is the first in the list of fruit here. The Christian walk should start with love and the rest of these attributes will follow closely behind. In John 15:12, Jesus tells us to love as He has loved us. The God of our salvation loved us enough to send His only begotten son to die for the sins of the world. While it is clear that this is not a price we can pay, does the world know your belief by the love you demonstrate for others?
If you spend your energy loving others the rest of the attributes will follow suit. Love for others leads directly to joy. The more you love someone the less you will have any anger in your heart towards them. It is a beautiful give and take. When you have love and joy it naturally leads to a sense of peace. When the anger and strife of a relationship are dissipated, peace is the likely result. When you love the people of this world you are easily able to suffer long. Why? because you want them to feel that same love, joy, and peace you have experienced. Kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness lead directly to self-control. When you have a heart of kindness, a spirit of goodness, when you are faithful to your friends and the Lord, with a sense of gentleness, you can easily control your anger, your jealousy, and the lewdness that can creep into our lives. Demonstrating to the world that you are indeed different.
When the world examines us what does it see? We all have bad days, we are not able to achieve perfection, but what does the world see for the most part? When it looks at us we should resemble the fruit the Lord has placed in our lives. The fruit of the Spirit should give hope to others and always demonstrate love, joy, and peace.
1 John 4:12 (NKJV)
12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.