Are You LOVING Well?
The fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, patience... Galatians 5
Right before these verses, Paul was inviting the Galatian Church into true freedom in Jesus, or in other words, the most powerful and joy-filled way of living. The vehicle used for this fullness of life was through the Spirit of God at work and alive in us, not through our labor. Catch this. He said, the fruit of the SPIRIT OF GOD, not fruit from the power of TIM (insert your name here)_!
The invitation here is different than the one I grew up with. The fruit of the Spirit was always a list of things to achieve or a standard that I was to live up to. This list of “Fruit” was the measuring stick for my religious awesomeness, but I didn’t display all of these qualities, especially when things weren’t going my way.
So what do I do if they are not naturally coming out of me? I try harder until I fail again and again. Enter stage left, shame and fear for the kill.
It is FRUIT OF (from) THE SPIRIT, not from our willpower.
Now as I say this, please don’t hear me say that we don’t have a role in this fruit exchange, because we do. The problem comes when we try to create the fruit, instead of staying attached to the Vine (Jesus) that grows lasting and effortless fruit.
If God is LOVE (1 John 4) and we are attaching ourselves daily to HIM (John 15), then love is what will flow through our very veins. That order is so incredibly important. The moment we detach from Him (the Vine), love begins to whither and “self” begins to reign. This is when my love begins to mainly benefit me, not others.
From the starting place of WE ARE ALREADY LOVED, no matter what, we Are invited to pass on that love to others.
Loving people that love us back is easy. Loving people when they’re hard to love is another story. That’s God sized LOVE!
Who has been driving you crazy lately? Who will enter into your world this week and offend you greatly? Stay attached to the Vine...LOVE WITH CURIOSITY!
10000 MINUTES Practice:
When you get offended this week by your boss, neighbor, spouse, fellow drivers, STOP and take a deep breath. Reattach to the powerful Spirit of God and get curious about what’s going on in your heart.
Join Jesus in loving your neighbor this week.