All About the Fruits
The notion of love is a strange one. That God created a connection, a feeling, that only a certain two people can experience together. That is the romantic love and is typically what we think of when we think of love. That is always what i thought of. Whenever my mom would say “I love you”, I never really thought anything of it. My family had said it so frequently that it always went over my head. I understood what it meant in the sense that they cared for me and looked after me, but i never fully grasped the actual meaning of true love. The kind of love that creates an inseperable bond or an intimate trust between people. Why did I never ask my mom why she loved me? I mean, she told me so many times and expressed it thoroughly every day. So, why didn't I ask that question?
I believe that I never asked and never doubted because she was my mother. It was only natural for me to assume that she loved me because she was my mother. I assumed that was how it was with everyone. The reason my mom loved me was because everyone loved their moms!( Of course i thought the same thing about my father as well, but mother came up first in my mind when it came to love) A simple solution to a simple question, right? However, I started to hear stories. Stories about mothers who would abandon their children. Mothers who would beat. Mothers who would say they regretted having their children. The vexed topic of abortion finally came to hit my ears and then I realized that mothers do not love their children just because they are mothers. So why did my mother love me?
I think that it is important to note that me and my mother have had our rough spots. We have never totally seen eye to eye. I know she loves me and I love her, but we always argued( still to this day) and I never knew why. I come to figure out that we just have very similar personalities and speaking honestly, are both self- centered. We both want what we want when we want it. That can be a good thing or a bad thing ( typically a bad thing) but nevertheless, we have a odd relationship. It's just how we've always been. It is just my mother. This relationship never made my doubt my mother’s love, it just made me question it. Why did she love me? We always argued. We always struggled, but she still loved me. Why?
I found my answer a few months back. I was really starting to get into the bible and wanted more references for my newfound faith. I looked all around the house until i stumbled upon a journal. It was my mothers prayer journal. Being a curious person I opened up to see what she was praying about, maybe I would get some inspiration or ideas. I opened it up and saw a lot of things. I saw prayers for my family, my church, the school, and a lot of other things. I was surprised because usually I never see this side of my mom. My eyes then hit my own name. A prayer for me and a verse that followed. She was praying specifically for me. I kept reading and found another. Then another. And another. She prayed for me a lot and I had never known it. My life has always been filled with blessings and I had always taken them for granted but this? This must have been where all the blessings were coming from because she prayed for me so much. Despite all the differences and arguments, she still prayed for me. She prayed for me because she loved me.
She loved me because God had blessed her with a son. She loved me because God loved her. She loved me because God made love. She didn't have to love me, but she choose to. She choose to because Jesus lived inside her heart. Now you might be thinking “ What about the non-believers? What about the people that don’t have God?”. God made you. God knew you before you were in the womb. He made you in his image. God has always been able to love, so if he created everyone, and if we have his same ability to love, that means that everyone can, even the people who don't believe.
Now I talked about why my mother loved me, what about everyone else? What is the definite answer on why mothers love their children? I believe the answer is this. To love is to endure. The bible says that love is patient. My mother has been patient and has put up with me for 18 years. Sheesh. That is a lot of patience. The bible says love is kind. My mother is kind enough to let me live under her roof, she is kind enough to feed me, she is kind enough to pay for so many things in my life. 1 Corinthians 13:7 “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,endures all things”
My mother's endured the trials of my petty arguments and actions, because that is love. If what you consider love does not have these qualities, then it not love. Love is one of the most important fruits of the spirit. Unless you understand this, then you will not have love and your fruit will never grow.
Joy is something that a lot of people want. A lot of people look for joy throughout their life by doing worldly things and taking up hobbies. A lot of people also take joy in working. Whatever it is that people take joy in, it is never permanent. That feeling of joy doesn’t stay there. People take joy in their life lives, but the their kid will draw all over the walls or rip up bills, which ultimately makes you mad. Now being able to cope and live with that is also known as love, but joy is always a momentary thing.
Is there any way joy can be a continuous sensation? Is there some way that you can live your life with that fulfilling emotion of joy? Yes there is and it’s Christ. Christ went to the cross so you didn’t have to have the burden of sin ooo your mind to ruin your joy. If you put Jesus above all things and keep him in every aspect of your life, you will feel joy everyday.
Having Christ in your heart means you are always filled with joy. You are joyous because you know where you will go at the end of your life. You also know that he is coming back. Knowing this should affect your attitude and show everyone that you have joy. Then people will ask, “ Why are you so happy?”, giving you your opportunity to speak about Christ.
Peace is something that is entangled in to so many other fruits. If you have patience, you can find peace. If you have love, you can find peace. All of these fruits lead to peace, not just of this world, but with the lord. Peace is something I’ve very rarely achieved, especially peace of mind.
I think a lot. I think too much about things. I overthink a lot as well. It fuels my anxiety and leads to just plain craziness at times. I can’t imagine a time where I’m not thinking. I almost can’t imagine a time where I’m not stressing out over some little thing. It is hard. We all go through stress. We all go through hard times. To be honest, fear destroys my will to find peace and achieve it. Fear of acceptance. Fear of relationships not working. Fear of death. I’m haunted by fear, as I believe we all are in a certain way, and we can’t escape it.
Peace is the absence of fear, the absence of anxiety, and the absence of doubt.How can we tell if we’ve reached peace? I believe that you have reached peace when experience the Holy Spirit. When you are praying about something wonderful that has happened, and then you get that sense of calmness, you feel secure and at home. That is peace. In the Bible, Peace is held many times as comfort or reassurance. To me,
just hearing some words from Christ brings me peace.
Woof. I don’t know if I can talk about this topic. The reason I say that is because I might be the most impatient person on the planet. If you ask anybody that knows me personally, they would agree. Patience to me is very difficult. If I want something, I really don’t want to wait for it. I guess entitlement plays a certain role in that trait. I was spoiled as a child(still am today).
I believe to be patient is to be disciplined. To have the state of mind where you can not give in to temptation and wait. Patience is a fruit of the spirit. If I want the spirit to be able to live in me and if I want God to take pride in me, then I have to be patient.
Patience is also key in a relationship with God. God isn’t on your time. God isn’t bound by time. So when you pray for something and it doesn’t happen right away or at all, don’t be surprised. There are 7 billion people in this world and a lot of them are praying. Now that doesn’t mean God isn’t listening. It simply means to be patient and keep praying. Then you might have this fruit.
Kindness is something that I think most people struggle with. Being kind to one another isn’t always on everyone’s mind, because everyone has their own agenda and their own goals. Now when people think of kindness, you generally think of manners. Saying please and thank you, holding the door open for someone, or maybe just saying hi to someone in the store. These are good examples of kindness that you would do every once in a while. The problem is when you don’t think of kindness as a lifestyle.
All of the fruits of the spirit are a part of a lifestyle. You are living your life for Christ and in doing so, you need the fruits to grow to have the spirit. They have to continue to grow and for them to grow, they have to be used in your everyday life. Kindness is no exception. I have trouble being kind to my siblings sometimes. Everyone with siblings knows the feeling. They can get on your nerves. Regardless of how I feel in that moment, I should be kind. That is living a life of the spirit.
Goodness is pretty self-explanatory as kind of goes along with kindness. If you have Christ in your heart and have accepted him into your life, then you should have a good heart. Your decisions will be based in Christ and that is Goodness in of itself. Goodness should show to other people just like kindness. That is how they see Christ and that you are a disciple.
This, in my opinion, is one of the most important fruits. Have you ever been to a church service where faith hasn’t been mentioned? The foundation of a relationship with Christ is faith. You have to have faith that he has you. That he knows what’s best for you more than you could ever fathom. I’ve seen God put people in places they would have never imagined. I’ve seen him move mountains in people, and it was because they had faith.
He’s changed me more in the past 8 months more than ever in my life. It can take years sometimes. Sometimes it can take an instant. Faith goes along with patience. Having faith gives you patience that God will supply your needs. That he will rebuke your wants and give you what you’ve always really wanted. He will give you what you always really needed.
I’ve had to have more faith the last couple of weeks through struggles. Hard times require more faith and I’ve been failing, but God has been there to pick me back up. Even in my darkest hours when I don’t think I can take anymore. He pulls me out of deep waters. My favorite verse is Peter 5:10.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
1 Peter 5:10
I said earlier that to love is to endure. But to endure, you must have faith.
Gentleness is a misunderstood fruit. This does not mean you must be delicate, because you can be firm with Christ. This means that you must be calm and collected. Someone may come to you with problems and as a Christian, you shouldn’t start arguing and yelling about the solution. You have to listen and be calm.
A better way of putting it is that it is not weakness, but strength under control. You are showing the person grace. It is also known as meekness. This is the fruit that shows the most, along with kindness and goodness.
This fruit is also pretty self-explanatory. You have to be able to control your earthly desires. Whether it be emotional or physical, you have to know when to stop. You have to know what is okay in Christ. I struggle with this one and I think a lot of people my age do. Our emotions are over the edge and we overthink everything. When you go back to the Bible,
Christ always had self-control. Whether he was being mocked,belittled, or even beaten almost to death, he controlled his human emotions. To me that is incredible that a man can take so much criticism and so much hatred from the world and never let it touch him. He was never truly bothered by it. That’s what I strive for. To be able to control my emotions and have that peace of mind.
I wrote this to help anybody that reads it and to my family. A big part of this goes to my mom and dad, as they raised me to be who I am today. I also have a friend that brought me back to Christ and I can’t thank her enough for it.
© 2019 MJ Hosier