We are almost through January. As we waited for the clock to strike midnight 25 days ago, people all around the world pledged to be better than before or at least make an attempt to improve. How is that working out? By all accounts on the news, not so well.
Feeling a little dismayed at the way people are treating each other, I turned off the television and prepared for my weekly post. When I read today’s fortune for the first time, I had the feeling that I had read those words before. It dawned on me that it was similar to the “Fruit of the Spirit” from the Bible.
The “Fruit of the Spirit” are the nine visible attributes of true Christian life and in direct contrast with the acts of our sinful nature. They aren’t separate “fruits” per se from which we get to pick and choose. Like a segmented orange, they are parts of a whole, and we should strive to be all of them.
It isn’t easy to exhibit all the attributes all of the time. Even Jesus got angry with the Pharisees when they didn’t think it was right for him to cure a man on the Sabbath. But he did the right thing by showing kindness and healing the man’s hand despite the fact that he knew they would later persecute him for it.
We might not be able to live life like Jesus, but we can work towards it by letting him into our lives. An excellent way to start is by displaying the fruit with little problems. Start small. For example: turning the other cheek, and not losing our temper over small issues can help us be patient and show restraint. Imagine if we didn’t get angry when someone disagrees with us, wears a particular hat, or uses the wrong pronoun.
These innocuous situations are only a problem if we let them be a problem. If we allow sin to control us, we will only escalate the situation. By choosing to display the “Fruit of the Spirit,” we cast sin aside and become more like Christ. Once we’ve tackled how to handle the small stuff, we can move on to more significant problems such as war and poverty.
There is no denying that human beings are flawed creatures. Because of our selfish, sinful ways, we too easily falter in living a Christ-like life. But if we strive towards the attributes listed above, we can bring Christ into our lives and become better people.