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 5:22–23
Have you ever heard the expression, “You are what you eat?” Why do people say that? Maybe because what you eat affects how you feel, like have you ever eaten too much sugar and then felt like going crazy, until twenty minutes later when you want to crash? Or if you eat a lot of fast and greasy food you notice how that affects how you look? What goes into your body effects how your body grows, that’s why your mom and dad have always said, “Eat your vegetables!” Not because they taste great but because they help you grow strong and healthy, but it’s not just what you ingest with your mouth that affects how you grow it’s also what you ingest with your ears, what you hear, that affects how you grow. Think about music; what you listen to affects how you feel. Listen to loud angry music and feel loud and angry. Listen to sleepy, quiet music and I’ll bet you can fall asleep quickly. Well, the same is true when it comes to words. The words we hear affect how we feel, live, and grow. If all you ever hear are words of condemnation you will feel condemned. If you hear lots of words of inspiration you’ll feel inspired. You are what you ingest even when it comes to hearing.
In Galatians 5:22-23, God tells us about the fruit of having His Holy Spirit living in you. He says that when you have His Spirit you will grow things in your life (which he calls fruit) like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. And when you grow this fruit it means that like an apple taken from a tree your fruit feeds those around you. So when you are joyful, you feed the people you are near joy, and when you are patient, they ingest patience, and so on. So if you are what you eat and you are the one who feeds the minds of those closest to you, is it any wonder that when you are anxious or testy that those around you are too? Sharing your faith isn’t just about preaching the gospel, it’s about sharing the fruit of your faith with others and that fruit grows in their lives in the same way it grows in yours.
Questions to ponder
Which aspect of the fruit do you feed those around you the most? Love or selfishness, joy or complaint, peace or fighting, patience or impatience, kindness or meanness, goodness or disobedience, faithfulness or lying, gentleness or harshness, self-control or being out of control?
What fruit would you like to have more of in your life?
Pray and ask God for more of the fruit of the Spirit today so that you can nourish yourself and others.