Patience and Love – Growing in the fruit of the Spirit

Lately there have been two running themes in my life: Patience, and Love….and the fact that I am lacking in both.

I’ve been going through Beth Moore’s Living Beyond Yourself, a study on the fruit of the Spirit, with my mother in-law’s bible study group for the past month or so, and let me tell you, I have found myself challenged!

It seems like whenever we are trying to practice the Word of God we come into situations that just test us to the core of who we are and what we believe. And I think it’s both God, as well as the devil at work in those times…only satan is out to trip us, God is trying to grow us, and often reveal to us those really dark parts we didn’t know we had in us in order to get them out.

I ran into a particular situation not very long after I started the study; without going into all the details, there was a person that hurt someone very dear to me that kept popping up in my life. It sent a lot of feelings bubbling up in me. Feelings that I didn’t know I had in me.  That was Dark encounter number one.

Encounter number two would come not too long after, testing my patience with life and its pace. Encounter three and four were right on its heels offering no break or breathing room.

And in all that I realized that God is sending some love stones at my head and trying to tell me something… I am not a very patient person. And, I am not as loving as I like to think.  Those were harsh realizations to come to.

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

Now, if I am a child of God, and have the Holy Spirit dwelling within me, this is what I should be producing. Verse 16 says to “walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh”, I know my fleshly desires lately do not line up with the fruit of the Spirit, and I have been carrying out those desires because I have not been surrendering myself and my emotions to Christ.

I want to love the way Jesus loves; I really want to be able to find compassion toward the people whom I dislike.  I want to have patience with life and people, and know that God works together all things for good for those that love Him (Rom. 8:28)

In life there are going to be many people who you don’t want to love, many situations that are less than ideal, but they are all learning experiences.  They are all opportunities to grow in Christ’s love.

Colossians 3:12 says “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”. We are a chosen people, and we are holy because God is holy and lives within us, we are not meant to hold such dark and filthy feeling in our hearts. The rotten fruit I have been producing is not of the Spirit I inherited from my Lord. It is not who I am. We are to be pure. That is something I could use lately, purity of the heart and mind. I could use new clothes, ones made of compassion and kindness. Clothes of patience and gentleness. Gosh, after all that is within me has been soaked in anger and selfishness, all I want is the clean clothes of righteousness.

“Dear brothers and sisters,when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” – James 1:2-4

I am trying to be grateful for the hiccups and in life and realize that there are blessings because they give me a way to be closer to God if I so choose to surrender these situations to Him.  I want to let Him sort though all those emotions with me and heal them the way I know no anger can do.

“Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires”.  – Gal 5:22-23

Beth Moore sates in her study that the issue of spiritually rests on yielded-ness to the Holy Spirit, the deliberate choice to surrender the fleshly nature and walk in the Spirit of God. We have a choice to make everyday, we can let the fruit of the Spirit feel our hearts and minds and surrender to peace. Or we can dwell in our dark places and stay bound.

 “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” – Gal 5:25

I want to know what it is like to walk in the fruits of my God, to really be love, joy gentleness, patience self control, goodness…I want to know the connection with God that comes with being so surrendered that I naturally produce those things in my daily life. It is something by no means do I have down yet, but I am trying, and thankfully our sweet Lord’s mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-23), and His grace is sufficient for all our needs (2 Cor. 12:9). I’m finally learning to trust Him in that 🙂

About Cecily Wetter

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3 Responses to Patience and Love – Growing in the fruit of the Spirit

  1. Very insightful. It is a hard thing for all of us to do — live by the Spirit. In our modern day life TV, movies, magazines, marketing…almost everything…promotes producing rotten fruit as the ideal. Even as Christians we get distracted and begin to follow the lies. It is great that you are realizing and trusting. Many Christians think they have it all figured out and all they have left to do in life is judge and correct others. You stop growing if you believe you are already grown. Jesus is after those who need a doctor.

  2. Amber Oliver says:

    It’s easy to be more patient and loving towards others if we acknowledge how many wrongs and hurts we’ve committed ourselves. If I stop to think of all the times God, family, and friends have forgiven me, it’s erroneous to withhold the same grace from others. Indignant feelings can almost always be traced back to spiritual-amnesia.

    “…But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” – Luke 7:47

    I think we often start from the top down when concerning the fruits of the spirit; to alleviate our ill-feelings of others, we set out to be more loving and kind to them. In reality, if we start from the bottom up—looking within ourselves and understanding that we too have been less than lovable at times, yet kindness and grace have been shown anyway—it regenerates our attitude and makes producing the fruits of the spirit possible.

  3. The greatest model of love we can strive for is that of Christ. His love extended to His enemies and those who wanted Him dead. His love covered a multitude of sins with His own disciples (not just Peter, but Judas as well). And, He loved the unlovely by sitting with “sinners and tax collectors”.
    Love is a foundational component of a Christian’s life and the first in the list of the fruits of the Spirit, but we so often times love imperfectly or fail to love when we should. We will withhold our love from those who “don’t deserve it” and save it for truly “worthy” people.
    “…but God shows his love for us in that while WE were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
    I like the verse you quoted, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” – Gal 5:25. To be a hearer of the Word, but not a doer of the Word leads us down the path of self-deception, and into God’s chastening if we fail to follow through. I have to “prove” I love someone by forgiving them – I can’t just “say” it. And I have to be willing to admit my own sins as well, and make amends by repentance and going to that person to get things straightened out. We must have daily cleansing through confession of our own sins (1 John 1:9), and then the Holy Spirit’s filling.
    It sounds like a great study to be going through! I haven’t read the book, but will check it out. 🙂

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