Strong spirits: who are you, really?

Image

Photo: Laura Zalenga

You can say what you want about what you believe, who you are, or what is important to you. The question is, what does your life say?

"Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit... Thus, by your fruit you will recognize them." Jesus to his followers (Matthew 7:17,20)

"The acts (fruit) of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you as I did before that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." the apostle Paul to the Galatians (Galatians 5:19-21)

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law." Paul (Galatians 5:22,23)

If we are honest, we can probably find ourselves on both lists. Hopefully, we are producing more of the fruit of the Spirit than of the flesh, with the goal being to produce only the former, and little or none of the latter. How is that possible?

In John 15, Jesus tells us we must abide in him. That is, have a deep, personal, intimate relationship with him. He alone, via the Holy Spirit, is able to produce the fruit of the Spirit. All of our striving avails nothing.

Further, Jesus warns us in the Matthew passage not to follow anyone (religious leaders, political leaders, etc.) whose walk does not mirror their talk, whose lives evidence more of the fruit of the flesh than of the Spirit. Avoid them, lest you be pulled down, too. No matter what wonderful things they promise you.

You can say what you want about what you believe, who you are, or what is important to you. The question is, what does your life say?

Gary Schwerin serves as pastor at Caledonia Congregational Church. He is also the Spiritual Development Minister for the YMCA of the Rock River Valley and Executive Director of Bridge Ministries of Rockford. Prior to launching Bridge Ministries, Gary spent many years in leadership with Young Life. His columns appear here every Sunday - to see them all, subscribe to our daily email.

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified
Spam
Offensive

Replies