Fruit of the Spirit

Do we have the Fruit of the Spirit? Galatians 5:22-23 Harsh, mean-spirited, and judgmental.

More and more often, I am hearing saddening accounts of brothers and sisters within our church families who have been attacked by fellow church members for having different experiences, different opinions, different likes and dislikes. Attacked by individuals displaying the works of the flesh and not the fruit of the Spirit. Individuals who have exalted themselves so highly in their own mind that they actually feel that they are entitled to cast judgment upon their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, often over the most petty and insignificant of imagined offenses (a person’s attire, physical attributes, mannerisms, talents, etc.). Such mean-spirited words are NOT from the Lord, but from the enemy himself.

The prophet Jeremiah warned that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (17:9) and “Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceitfully” (9:8). The moment we begin to believe we are somehow better than another, because we do such-and-such or we do not do this-or-that, we have been deceived by our wicked, sinful hearts. And when we are deceived by our wicked, sinful hearts, we take on a “holier-than-thou” attitude that empowers us to say whatever we like under the guise of godly wisdom, friendly counsel, or in defense of the faith.

Yet we forget the words of the Lord Jesus Christ when He admonished: “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3-4)

The Challenge

I challenge each and every one of us to carefully evaluate our actions and, especially, our words towards others. Are we blossoming with the fruit of the Spirit? Our are words filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? Or are we using a facade of righteousness to do the devil’s dirty work of tearing down our brothers and sisters in Christ?

Are our words filled with love, kindness, gentleness? We need to nurture the Fruit of the Spirit. Click To Tweet

Prayer

Lord, from now on I will do my best, through Your strength and not my own, to be a good and faithful witness of Your love, mercy, and character to those around me. May no harsh, mean-spirited, or judgmental thought take hold in my heart nor word pass my lips. I will humble myself before You, allow You (not me) to be the Judge in all things, and approach all my relationships with love, kindness, patience, and the fruit that Your Spirit works within my heart. May my eyes also be opened and my heart filled with compassion so that, should I witness an agent of Satan attack a fellow brother or sister, I will have the courage to do what is right while never forgetting the log in my own eye. In Your Son’s wonderful and powerful name, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

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About Jacquelyn

Jacquelyn Van Sant lives in Mesa, Arizona, with her husband Bradley Van Sant and her young son. She works as a web application developer for a large American university and is an active member of the Tempe SDA Church in Tempe, Arizona. In her free time, she enjoys singing, writing, drawing, and hiking. She also wrote songs for Christian recording artist Jessica (Fisher) Cyiza's debut album New Life. (Now Available!)