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As we seek to build our spiritual resiliency in challenging times, each week we will be taking a look at the “fruit of the Spirit” as described by the Apostle Paul in Galatians 5:22-23.
Love – what a powerful word. It can move mountains or take your breath away. Never underestimate it. When you’re on your walk, do you really see what you’re seeing? Learn to be present and your heart will become one with nature. Open your mind and your heart will follow. How do you show love?
Joy – commonly interchangeable with happiness. We make daily distinctions as happiness and joy are two very separate things. If a person is joyful, it does not mean they are happy all the time; but rather joy expresses that they are filled with this emotion and share it with others in the form of happiness.
Peace – our world has been experiencing a lack of peace. Peace is a gift that calms the waves of emotion within, and it’s something that we can extend to others. Sharing a sign of peace with those around you is a reminder that God is present, constant, and at work in our lives.
Patience is a tricky one! Patience has a few folds here: one being patience with self, another being with others, and even having patience with God. To be patient means to choose to stand with God where He is and not in the circumstances where we find ourselves.
Kindness – is God’s way of directing our hearts towards others. The Bible calls us to show kindness to strangers, to friends, to our families, to people of our faith, and others. One act of kindness and trigger a reaction of others. Choose to be kind.
Generosity means: “the quality of being kind and generous.” Giving goodness to others in numerous ways. When you show generosity, you might give away things or money or put others before yourself. But generosity is about more than physical giving. When you’re forgiving and gentle to people, you show generosity of spirit.
Faithfulness – shows itself true when the going gets tough. Faithfulness applies to all areas of our lives. Being faithful to our beliefs, to God, and to other commitments or responsibilities can be challenging, but remember that God is faithful in us. You can be a faithful church attendee, coffee drinker, sidewalk chalk artist…
Gentleness – Is about how one goes about action. One who is gentle strives in all they do to be harmless. To not force the other, to not hurt the other. The quality of being kind and careful. Your gentleness with a frightened stray dog will eventually convince her to let you feed and pet her.
Self-control – is an ability that develops over time. Think of it as a muscle that can grow stronger or weaker, depending on how much you use it. Sometimes we may fail at self-control, but it’s important not to beat yourself up about it. God is forgiving and gracious to us when we confess that things didn’t go according to plan.