“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22
What would Jesus do? It’s one thing to know how Jesus would respond, and it’s another thing to actually do it. The apostle Paul described nine ‘fruit of the spirit,’ or characteristics of a Christ-like life. Today, let’s look at the last three: faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
- Faithfulness: Faithfulness means being loyal to God, even when people or culture push us to go against God’s best for our lives. A follower of Jesus will remain faithful, standing up for the truth found in Jesus and described in His Word.
- Gentleness: Gentleness does not mean weakness, but rather a powerful strength that is under control. It’s a bit like a tough offensive lineman who intimidates on the field but is a teddy bear off the field. All that strength under control is the picture of gentleness.
- Self-control: Self-control is the ability to remain calm and under control even under tremendous pressure. Self-control is staying true to what you know is right even under constant pressure to conform and fit-in to culture’s standards and opinions. It’s not easy.
Whew! These character traits aren’t easy. Is it really possible to live this way? No, not without ever falling short, it’s not.
Jesus was the only one to perfectly display all these characteristics, these ‘fruit,’ in how He lived. But here’s the Good News: It’s impossible for you and for me to live a Christ-like life on our own, but it’s very possible with the help of the Holy Spirit. Because it’s the Holy Spirit that guides us, empowers us, and enables us to be more like Christ. This takes the pressure off us and leaves it with God. We just have to be willing to let Him rule and lead in our lives. And when we surrender our lives to Christ and the Holy Spirit begins to transform our lives and character, these fruits will become evident in our lives. Amazingly, others will see us looking more and more like Jesus.