“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!” Galatians 5:22-23 NLT
Paul, the author of the letter of Galatians, spends a large part of his letter explaining what it means to live by the Spirit of God. He describes what it looks like for Christians to live according to the Spirit, and also what it looks like to live apart from the Spirit.
One of the key distinctions for those who live according to the Spirit of God is that they produce certain external qualities. Paul calls these the fruit of the Spirit.
Just like an apple tree produces apples and an orange tree produces oranges, so we as Christians are also meant to produce certain things in our life.
Paul lists nine character qualities that should be evident in someone’s life if they’re walking according to God’s ways. However, just like the fruit of a tree is not meant for the tree itself, but for others, so also the fruit of the Spirit in a Christian’s life is not meant for themselves, but for others. We are to love one another, take joy in one another, have peace with one another, and be kind to one another.
The fruit of the Spirit are meant to be grown and harvested within Christian community rather than in isolation. We were created for a relationship with God and others.
Take a look at the list of fruit the Spirit produces in a Christian’s life. Be honest and ask yourself: Which fruit am I producing? Which fruit am I not producing, and why am I not producing it? Take note of a few small steps you can take to grow closer to God in those areas of your life and produce more fruit.