Forming and Growing Us

Read: Galatians 5:16-25

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (vv. 22–23)

Kara turned off the TV with a sigh. More news of conflict around the world, more fighting between people in her own community. Sometimes division and conflict felt nonstop, stirred up by leaders and the media, pushing people to fight with each other for more views and higher ratings. Kara longed for a better way. She wanted to hear the stories of people who could disagree respectfully, and negotiate across differences for a common good. Where was the interest in that?                                                                                

The Bible says that a tree is known by its fruit, and the same holds true for people (Matt. 7:15-20). Those who are in step with the Spirit will exemplify the fruit of the Spirit in their thoughts, words, and actions. Their actions will arise from love for God and love for neighbor. Those not in step with the Spirit exhibit hugely different fruit. Today’s Bible reading points out the stark contrast.

With an open heart, we can ask God to honestly show us if we, individually and collectively, are characterized by the fruit of the Spirit. And we can ask for discernment regarding what we see and hear around us. It’s this fruit—“love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”—that provides evidence that God lives, in us and in the church. This fruit reveals God’s character to the world. —Bonnie Nicholas

As you pray, ask God to form a Christlike character in you and in the church.

About the Author

Bonnie Nicholas, LMSW, retired in 2020 after serving as Director of Safe Church Ministry in the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Living Easter Every Day