Fruit and the Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22 – 23

It is the desire of most of the followers of Jesus that I know to be closer to God. So, when our lives are compared to the verse above, the path seems clear. The solution is more fruit.

Now, our well-meaning desire for closeness becomes a mandate to try harder. Because I want intimacy with God, I will set myself on being more self-controlled. Because I am in Christ, I should make sure that I act more joyful. I’m sure you can see and maybe are living in this pattern.

If we follow the path of focusing on producing fruit, then we become slaves to our performance. But this verse, thankfully, is not about behavior modification. The broader passage is Paul reminding those in Christ that their behavior is actually a product of their root.

A tree does not control its fruit. If a tree is planted in poor soil or is not given water, it cannot simply try harder to produce pleasing fruit.

The same is true with us. Fruit is a product of being connected to the Spirit, it is NOT and invitation for the Spirit. [Click here to Tweet that.]

The fruit of our life is indicative of our root – on what we are basing our identity. This verse in Galatians tells us what to look for. If you are not seeing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, then it is highly likely that you are attempting to create wholeness apart from God.

Bad fruit is a symptom of disconnection. Good fruit comes from a good tree, that is, from an identity founded in Christ.

If you are experiencing bad fruit, rather than try harder to produce good fruit, look instead to how you are connecting with the Spirit.

What are the symptoms of disconnection you experience in your spiritual life? How do you reconnect to the Spirit?

I work with pastors and the people they lead to energize discipleship and improve leadership development. I am a certified coach specializing in pastoral leadership, relationships, life transitions, and Christian identity. Services I offer are one-on-one coaching, group/staff coaching,  speaking at organizations/churches, leadership workshops, and church retreats. For more info, click here to contact me.

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