“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
Galatians 5:22-24 ESV
Through the Bible: Galatians 4-6
I like blueberries, but not bananas. I like cantaloupe, but not watermelon. If I get a fruit cup at a restaurant, I’ll typically pick out the fruit I don’t like.
The fruit of the spirit is not like a fruit cup. It’s more like a mixed-fruit smoothie. I don’t get to choose peace but pick out self control. I can’t choose faithfulness (reading my Bible every morning) and leave love in the bottom of the cup (while I switch over to my news app and rant about people on the other side of the political fence).
James 3:12 says, “Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs?” And the obvious answer is no. We produce the fruit of whatever we are a part of, and each plant produces fruit after its kind. So if Jesus is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:5), then the only fruit we are going to produce is Christlikeness, in all its forms.
So if God is love (1 John 4:8), then maybe the fruit of the spirit is love, and every other item on Paul’s list is a manifestation of love. Many Christian writers have linked each fruit back to love. Here are some of my favorites:
From Bill Bright: Joy is love’s strength; Peace is love’s security; Patience is love’s endurance; Kindness is love’s conduct; Goodness is love’s character; Faithfulness is love’s confidence; Gentleness is love’s humility; Self-control is love’s victory.
From Nicky Gumbel: Joy is love rejoicing,
peace is love at rest,
patience is love waiting,
kindness is love interacting,
goodness is love initiating,
faithfulness is love keeping its word,
gentleness is love empathising,
self-control is love resisting temptation.
From DL Moody: Joy is love exalted; peace is love in repose; long-suffering is love enduring; gentleness is love in society; goodness is love in action; faith is love on the battlefield; meekness is love in school; and temperance is love in training.
Maybe you can journal your own list today as part of your quiet time. But the point is, it all comes back to love. Don’t leave any part of the fruit of the spirit in the bottom of the cup. Drink it all down.