When men and women demonstrate the love of Christ and the fruits of the Spirit, people can see it. It is in the fruit that people know where it came from. The draw of a beautiful, shiny apple, a large orange, or a fuzzy-skinned, perfect peach are all indicators of how healthy and alive the tree is. The fruit really does sell the tree.
I love Teddy Roosevelt’s statement, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” I will always trust the one I know more than the average person speaking. I believe what people can see IN and FROM your life really is what is going on inside – our “fruit” represents our character.
Galatians 5:22 – 23, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” I call these the nine!
I don’t think anyone has ever gotten mad at someone who loves, who is joyful, a peaceful person, who is kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled. These “fruits” in our character are very noticeable in this generation because they are not the norm.
Let’s take a minute and check our “fruit” …
Are you a loving person?
Are you a joyful person?
Are you a peaceful person?
Are you kind?
Are you good?
Are you faithful?
Are you gentle?
Are you self-controlled?
I believe that Leadership begins and ends with character – who we are precedes what we do!
There are 3 takeaways for living out the NINE …
- We are BEING like Jesus!
Think about it. When we are loving, kind, and faithful we will talk to and love the forgotten like He did; we will be kind to the sick like He did; and we will be peaceful and calming like He was in the boat during the storm.
- God is the one who grows the fruit, not us
God produces the fruit. We just reflect the “Gardener.” I don’t know much about gardens, but I do know that seeds planted become deep roots. There sometimes takes some pruning and some compost, but the actual growth of the fruit has nothing to do with me. So, my job is to share the Gospel (James 1); water and develop roots for growth (Jeremiah 17); experience some pruning (John 15); and even spread some compost (Romans 5:3-6).
- We don’t get to pick which ones we want based on our personality
There isn’t a filter on this list of nine. I believe that God wants to grow all nine fruits in our lives. The NINE fruits of the Spirit are proof of His character in our lives. I want my character to look like Christ, therefore I must work at it.
Last thought, I have always said character is built in the “small things.” The “small things” aren’t really that small. Taking the trash out every day is consistency. Loving people just the way they are is acceptance. And so on …
So, what are we doing with the NINE?
Do those who know you see the fruit of the Spirit lived out in your life?
Written by: Warren Jackson