All of It, All the Time, No Exceptions
These peaches are lovely, but there is something even lovelier. The Bible even says there is no law against it.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Gal. 5:22-23
Most Christians know this verse really well, but have you ever stopped to consider what it's not saying?
What the fruit of the Spirit IS NOT:
Love - as long as they are nice to me
Joy - if it's a good day
Peace - unless they push my buttons
Longsuffering - for a reasonable period of time
Gentleness - some people are just asking for a punch in the face
Goodness - no one can be good all the time
Faith - as long as things are going okay
Meekness - that is so last century; it's vogue to stand up for ourselves now
Temperance - totally, after I buy/eat one more thing
Sound familiar? I've said many of them myself. How'd you do?
If you're feeling uncomfortable and wondering why this is important, here's something else to ponder.
What if God treated the fruit of the Spirit like we do?
Love - Sure, I'll love my children when they are lovable.
Joy - How can I give them joy when they have so much sin in their life?
Peace - But they want war! I might as well give them what they want.
Longsuffering - I've been patient all day, and I've had it up to here!
Gentleness - I was gentle yesterday.
Goodness - I give up. What does it matter anyway when they are all so bad?
Faith - Why should I believe in them? They consistently fail me.
Meekness - I did that during the Advent. I'm done with it now.
Temperance - I'll take that, and that, and really it all belongs to me because I made the world.
Aren't you glad God doesn't pick and chose what He's going to be today? God lives this list every day, all the time, without exception. As a reflection of Christ, we should be doing the same.
The fruit of the Spirit doesn't have caveats.