Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God – Ephesians 4:1
Years ago I attended a church group study on the fruit of the Spirit. We learned about God’s loyal and unconditional love, moved on to joy in any circumstance, rested in peace through faith, challenged each other to show kindness, set our sights on goodness, inspired ourselves to be faithful, and considered how we might be more gentle.
It was emotionally exhausting. When i looked at what each fruit of the Spirit actually meant. How could i ever live according to them?, I wondered.
Thankfully, i learnt that i was thinking in an opposite direction.
I was reminded that no one can show off any of these fruits of the Spirit by their physical strength. The more we attempt to be more caring and peaceful in our own flesh, the more we decrease the only hope we have in the Spirit.
The 9 qualities are fruits of the Spirit, not fruits of our own determination.