I've been thinking a lot about really evaluating where I'm at spiritually. Part of me wishes God would send a progress report every 6 months. Most of me is glad He doesn't though! There are lots of things we Christians use congratulate or at least comfort ourselves with. Stuff like- I'm at church pretty much every Sunday, my church reaches out to the marginalized, I feed the homeless,  my kids go to Christian school, I'm doing 3 Bible studies, I teach a Bible study, I prayed with my spouse last night, I can quote the book of James, I always write verses in birthday cards, I'm a deacon, I'm on a church committee, my church is such an exact model of the old testament church that we don't have committees, I have a fish on the back of my car, I have a cross tattoo, a life group meets in my home, I've been on a mission trip, etc. There's nothing wrong with most of these things. I'm hoping every person can identify with at least a couple things on this list, actually. 

But do any of these things we do really tell us how we're doing spiritually?

Here's a list (the fruit of the Spirit) that we can use to evaluate. As you read, don't think, have I achieved this perfectly in my life? The question is am I getting better or worse in this area? If the answer is worse- it's not a matter of trying harder. These are the fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of the person trying really, really hard. The solution is to humbly go before God and ask for His help and obey when He guides you. If you do see these traits increasing in your life, thank God and don't get cocky, kid!

Without further ado, here it is...

But the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is 

Love- this love is the Agape love or unconditional love. Do you love people? Not just your friends or family either. Do you love the people who are most different from you, who you have nothing in common with, who society would pit you against?

Joy- Not to be confused with happiness, but do you feel and choose joy regardless of your situation, regardless of your past?

Peace-  Is your first reaction to something complaining?  Are you quick to take insult?  Do you tend to listen to your thoughts and emotions over God's promises? Do you run to trouble or live on the edge of what is permissible?

Patience- some translations call this long suffering. Do you feel angry or frustrated when God doesn’t move when we want Him to move? Are you irritated with people who may slow you down in reaching a destination or goal?  Does your anger flair up when you have to wait for something or someone?

Kindness- Do you routinely find yourself helping others? Are you an encourager or a pessimist or what some would loftily call a realist?

Goodness- Do you make right choices when no one else is around? Do you assume the best of people? 

Faithfulness- Do you still trust God even when you're not be able to see the outcome of what He's doing in your life? Do you allow circumstances to create doubts about your faith? Do you keep serving even when it's not fun? Do you follow through on your commitments?

Gentleness- sometimes called meekness. Do you think your opinions and actions are above question? Are you willing to put another's needs ahead of your own? When you must confront someone, do you do it in a loving and kind way or in a fit of anger?

Self-control- Are you able to walk away from things that are permissible but not beneficial? Do you control your emotions or do your emotions control you? Can you forgo an immediate gratification that might result in a long term problem? Can you go against the crowd when God calls you to?

So I don't want you to post your answers to these questions. If you are a Christian, I just invite you to join me in really taking stock in what direction our walk with Christ is going. Compared to a year or two ago, have you grown in Christ or are you allowing your sin nature to be victorious? Those are the only 2 answers really.

posted under |


Sarah said...

Great blog Julia! It really makes you think! You are so good at writing you should write a book!

sweetybird09 said...

I am better in some of the areas you mentioned and need to work on others, thanks for this post as lately I have been needing to lean on the Lord in the area of Faithfulness.

Thanks for this great post!

Rebecca Walsh said...

Great post! I especially like how you point out that these are indeed fruits of the Spirit, not just something we accopmlish on our own. They are a resul of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. :)

Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home

Swidget 1.0