Continuing the conversation from yesterday, I want to consider our relationships in terms of fruit. This conversation starts with a self-examination and as I take these thoughts and look inward and at the results I am getting, I invite you to do the same.
Specifically, I want to look at the target or what I want to be seeing in my life. In looking at the standard and comparing what I am seeing in my life, the goal is to reflect on God’s word, respond in prayer, and refocus my activity towards the Gospel and my relationships with my brothers and sisters. Fruit of the Spirit vs. Fruit of the Flesh. What does this mean to me?
In Galatians 5:22-23, we see that a fruit of the spirit is LOVE…which is agape and a love of choice that is we choose Jesus and in His service choose the highest good for others. We should see ourselves elevating the needs of others above our own and even if it hurts, is tough, comes at a cost, or takes a lot of effort we will decide and commit to resisting selfish words, actions and thoughts.
This is the kind of LOVE God has poured into our hearts (Romans 5:5) and this kind of LOVE furthers a deeper love for God as our Father (Romans 8:14-15; Galatians 4:6) and will spill over into our relationships (1 John 4:10-11, 16, 21) in which God is further glorified.
The LOVE of God should be center stage in our lives. We are to walk in LOVE (Ephesians 5:1-2) and we should love one another fervently (1 Peter 1:22). LOVE as a decision/choice is fruit bore out of our relationship with God and is therefore the “tie that binds” and “garment” we as Christians put on (Colossians 3:12-14). “Loose” connections in our relationships or allowing our own personal preferences or desires guide our thoughts, words, or actions is an indicator that we need to take a step back and choose different so that we might act different. LOVE God and be positioned to LOVE each other which should be our primary motive in everything we do (1 Corinthians 16:14). Further, LOVING as God has LOVED us will prevent our liberty in Christ from becoming destructive selfishness (Galatians 5:13).
Again, I invite you to reflect on the above passages in God’s word and examine your life and your relationships. Be prayerful and consider what you see? Do you see people who are getting stronger and relationships that are getting more and more united or do you see strife, confusion, hurt, anger, division? Based on what you see, what part are you playing? Are you holding fast to God’s love…allowing it to fill your heart…so that you can pour it out to others?