Sunday, February 24, 2008

By Sidharth Mohandas

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. [Galatians 5:22-23]

There is a general misconception that there are 9 fruits of the Spirit. However, if you look closely at the wordings in this verse, you will see that it doesn’t say “fruits”, but the word is in its singular “fruit”. And that means there is only one fruit, there aren’t 9 different fruits.

A long time back I was meditating on this passage and comparing it with 1 Corinthians 13, and I realized that the fruit of the Spirit was simply love and that all the others mentioned after it were just characteristics of love.

Love is patient [ 1 Cor 13: 4], Love is kind [1 Cor 13:4] Love is not proud [1 Cor 13:4], Love is not easily angered [1 Cor 13:5], Love rejoices with truth [1 Cor 13:6], Love always trusts [1 Cor 13:6], Love keeps no record of evil [1 Cor 13: 5]…

Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” [John 13: 35].

I see us Christians lashing each other over doctrinal issues and calling each other being of the devil and wonder how easily we have been fooled and deceived. I believe most of us would disqualify the above characteristic of our Lord's disciples. Are we patient with those who are weak in the faith? Are we kind? Do we keep record of evil and think we are rightfully punishing someone who have harmed us or spoken ill of us? Are we easily moved into anger?

If you have failed, I encourage you to turn to the Person of the fruit, the Holy Spirit. God plainly tells us, your fruitfulness comes from Me. [Hosea 14:8]. And that means it is not a do-it-yourself job! It is not the fruit of your hard work, it is the fruit of the Spirit.

I remember a time when I was spending time with a friend of mine who had used a very pleasant perfume. Later when we parted, I realized that my clothing had caught the scent of his garments! That’s how it is with God, as you spend more time with Him, the Spirit sheds abroad more of God’s love in your heart. But the problem with many of us... we are trying to create a replica of this genuine fruit in our flesh, and it’s all sour and rotten.

Let's stop pointing fingers and look at ourselves today and see if we qualify to be called His disciples. If we don't, let us repent and turn to the Author of the fruit.

May the sweet scent of Jesus
make its home in our hearts and in our lives,
so that others may find Him too.

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