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.
The term Christian is something to be revered, cherished, and ultimately… earned. It is something that we should never take lightly, nor is it something that we should take for granted. With that being said, we must come to a general outline of what it looks like to be a Christian. It is important to understand and remember that we are not perfect people, we are going to fail, but the goal should be a Christ-like appearance in everything we do. Let’s take a look at some of the fruits of the Spirit.
It is very fitting that love is listed first here. Everything we do as a Christian should be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14 makes it very simple… (14) Let all that you do be done with love… It is very important that the outside world sees and experiences the love of Christ through us.
Joy & Peace
Romans 15:13 reminds us… (13) Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit… As a believer we will face tribulation, tough times, and even persecution, it is important to remember our promise in Christ, and that promise should guide our joy. John 16:33 speaks of the peace we should have in Christ… (33) These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
One of the toughest attributes to maintain is longsuffering, very few people like suffering, and nobody wants to do that for a long period of time. We are however called to suffer long. Whether that is in ministry, whether it be with unanswered prayer, or anything else, we must understand that everything is done in His time. Sometimes it may feel like a lifetime of suffering, but it is always for a reason and always profitable for our walk to suffer long.
Kindness, Goodness, & Faithfulness
Just as it is important for the world to see and experience the love of Christ through us, it is equally important that the world sees kindness, experiences our goodness, and knows our faithfulness. When the world experiences these things, they will undoubtedly want to know where they are coming from.
Gentleness & Self-Control
When the world is completely out of control, fighting over every cause, we must be different. We must be gentle with a world that is used to the opposite. This once again will set us apart from this world. Once again, the perfect attribute to set us apart from the world is self-control. If we look at the world as a whole, there is very little control, let alone self-control.
The world is making it easier and easier for us to set ourselves apart from the world, but it still takes effort. We must make sure the world experiences Christ through us in our everyday actions. If they do not see and experience Christ through us, they may not try to experience Christ at all! Live each moment trying to show the world who Christ was, who He is, and what He promises to be!
Romans 12:12 (NKJV)
12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;