If you've ever started a diet and stopped, then started it again then you know exactly how it feels to lose sight of the reason you were dieting in the first place. Even if we've made the decision to adjust our lifestyle rather than call it a diet, we are still creatures of habit and we prefer the easy way sometimes. We like what we know even if it's unhealthy because it's comfortable and familiar. Some days it's too hard to stay on course. I don't want another carrot stick. Healthy food takes too long to prepare. Oh look! I found a Snickers in my purse. Then comes the justification: It has peanuts and that's a good protein!
You know the foods that feel right and foods that don't. Fruits and veggies are good because you *know* they're good for you, so that makes them good for the body and the mind. Conversely, a roll with dinner or a piece of cake after may taste delicious but doesn't feel good because it comes with the mental guilt of sliding off your health plan and of course the physical empty calories.
A similar analogy could be drawn with your spiritual journey. Your relationship with God is the easy part. The struggle is fighting off bad influences. The closer you are to Him the less bad things appeal to you. The further you get away from Him, then bad decisions seem to come a little easier. As your relationship grows deeper then your patience produces stronger roots. These roots anchor you so that you are not easily swayed by shifting winds or relentless storms. Things that you normally worry over seem to be easier to let go of and the people or experiences that may have irritated you to the point of anger, you now have a sense of compassion for the others involved. When you cultivate your relationship with Him, your life and the way you see it; blooms.
To that end, there are nine fruits of the Spirit that are given to believers and each one helps to build character. The fruits are to guide us towards perfection even though we as humans will always fall short. But just because we cannot attain perfection shouldn't stop us from trying to be as close to God as possible. Without looking ahead, can you list the nine fruits of the Spirit?
*Faithfulness, Self-Control, Patience, Goodness, Gentleness, Joy, Kindness, Peace, Love*
Honestly, I had to look them up.
As I was reading over them, I found the words to be challenging and comforting at the same time. If I desire to have these qualities then my body and soul will flourish trying to reach them.
(Think fruits and veggies instead of rolls and cake.)
Here's what I'm going to suggest: Bad habits have to be replaced with good habits if they are going to succeed long term. So why don't we try this: Why don't we replace a poor choice with a good fruit of the spirit whenever we see the opportunity? When someone needles your temper, offer them good fruit of patience. When an experience hurts you, remember the kindness fruit. When there's a time where you could be really frustrated and hostile, take a breath and give your best attempt at being gentle. WE might discover that the fruit of the spirit is sweeter than Creme brûlée.
Seeds to Share:
Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Ephesians 4:22-24 - You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.