Okay, so if you don’t recognize this scripture reference off the top of your head . . . I’ll help you out.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (NLT)
Our youth pastor has been breaking each one of these down on Wednesday nights for the past two months. Examining what the Bible has to say about each one of these fruits. He asked me at the beginning of class if I could teach next Wednesday night and wrap up all of the fruits of the spirit since he was going to be out of town.
I agreed, but honestly the first thing that came to my warped and twisted mind was . . . tissue paper wrapped fruit! (*someone whispers* She’s not right.)
Anyway, before this series whenever I heard the fruits of the spirit from the Bible, I always thought of the way you can tell a person is “truly” a Christian. . . .by their actions. There’s an old song we used to sing when I was in youth, “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love. By our love. And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”
Many times, teenagers especially, but most all of us have been fooled by people who claimed to be Christians. Some people scream to the top of their lungs what big Christians they are but you would never be able to tell by watching their actions. Maybe you know some of these people. I think if someone had explained this to me when I was a teenager I would have had some tools I could have used to help me make better choices in my life.
When you are choosing a “significant other” whether it is a boy or a girl, there are things you should look for in their actions. Our Sunday School class touched on this before. We are not looking for the exception when we are picking a boyfriend. We are looking for the “rule” of their life. If the rule is that they are normally cruel and intolerant or if they are normally mean and angry . . . this is their character. Just because one time they adopted a puppy from the shelter and it melted your heart, THIS one exception does not change their character.
The last part of this verse is really what is stuck in my head though. “. . . against such things there is no law.” None of the fruits of the spirit are against the law. Biblical law, state or federal law, society’s law or academic laws. No one (in their right mind) would make a law against patience or kindness. Why is it that when we see these characteristics we don’t recognize them as being from God?
A person’s character can be examined and compared to Galatians 5:22-23. If the person you are considering for boyfriend status (or girlfriend status) produces the fruits of the spirit then that person would have a good character. The Holy Spirit is what creates these things in a person’s life. However, if a person does not have any of these qualities, you should probably reconsider your relationship with them.
The same is true for your own life. If you are a follower of Christ, but all anyone ever hears you do is complain . . . what does that say about you? If you are angry, but forgiven how will anyone know God’s love through you?
So do they know YOU are a Christian by your love?