Understanding the Fruits of the Spirit

Following my last article, where I talked extensively about love, joy, peace, and forbearance as fruits of the spirit,. I will be delving into kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control to finish up the topic, understanding the fruit of the spirit. 


Understanding the Fruits of the Spirit



As I have already stated, we are changed people, and there are certain qualities we ought to radiate. The qualities of a Christian include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These qualities are outlined by the apostle Paul in his epistolary letter to the Galatians. These are all qualities that every Christian ought to have, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit and your submission to God's spirit.


Let us study the Bible more closely so that we can gain a deeper understanding of these qualities.


Kindness: The dictionary explains this term as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. I am sure the term “Kindness” is not strange to most of us, but the only thing is that I am not sure we fully understand the concept. 


If we look at the scriptures, the term is used severally to describe our relationship with God. it was used to show our saviour died for us because of this “kindness” he had towards us. It is not strange that we were instructed to be kind to one another, as Christ was always kind to us, even when we didn’t deserve it. Titus 3:4 (NIV): "But when the kindness and love of God, our Savior, appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done...


Since we ought to be Christlike, it is best that we start acting generously, friendly, and considerate towards people. Being kind entails being compassionate, generous, considerate, empathetic, and friendly. It may be hard to keep up with being kind because of the way humans can be, but we have been called to do so and we will do so with the help of the Holy Spirit. 


Next on the list of the fruits of the spirit is faithfulness. As explained by Wikipedia, faithfulness means unfailingly remaining loyal to someone or something and putting that loyalty into consistent practice regardless of extenuating circumstances. It is as simple as that but a little bit complex. 


As Christians, we are called to be loyal to ourselves and also to God. Being faithful as a Christian is a character trait that we must always imbibe. I sometimes pray like this when offering thanksgiving to God, “Despite our unfaithfulness, you still remain faithful to us. Thank you, Lord.” 2 Timothy 2:13 (NIV): "If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself."


Using Christ as our perfect example, do you know the hurt he must have felt for the people he was trying to save to spit on him and eventually lead him to the cross? Still, in all this, he was loyal to God and us and paid our debts for us. 


Faithfulness, which can also be classified as loyalty, is unwavering. Say for example, that you had a friend who let you in on secrets, but after a while, the two of you fell out. Regardless of what happens, your loyalty still remains; that is the life we were called to live. Proverbs 3:3-4 (NIV): "Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man."


And to God, when it feels you can’t hear him, in your trials, in everything, you must at all times be faithful to God. You must at all times be faithful, not unwavering, not switching sides. 


Goodness, as the name implies, is the act of being good. This isn’t far fetched; how can you be a child of God and not be good? But then again, we are not unfamiliar with the wiles of the devil. Just like the Bible says, he is always lurking around, seeking whom to turn away from doing good. And it is because of this that we Christians have to be vigilant so evil doesn’t creep into our lives. The Bible says in Romans 12:21 (NIV): "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

The following scriptures talk about how we are called to be good to people, especially our siblings in Christ. Galatians 6:10 (NIV): "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." 


We are also called to be great representatives of doing God’s good works, and we can only do that when we are good. Ephesians 2:10 (NIV): "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."


Gentleness can be interpreted as being meek. As christians, we are called to be gentle in our manner of approach, the way we speak and everything we do generally. We must be distinct from the rest of the world, just as we have been said to do in Ephesians 4:2 (NIV): "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.


Lastly, Self control which has been defined as restraint exercised over one's own impulses, emotions, or desires,. In Christian terms, it is putting your body under subjection. You don’t let your flesh decide how you should act or speak; you have to have control over your behaviour. Since we have been made to live a God filled life, let your behaviour be subject to God.


Conclusion

In concluding this topic, let me leave you with this. Knowing that we are God’s representatives on earth, we have to imbibe all these characters in our day to day lives. Will it be easy? Probably not, but is it doable? Yes, it is. How so? Well, that is because we are not doing it on our own accord; we are doing it with the help of the Holy Spirit. 


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