As we die to self and begin abiding in Christ to greater degrees we should see ourselves more and more oftenresponding in the Spirit rather than reacting in the flesh. This is manifest in what the scriptures call the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Take notice first that the word fruit is singular. This means that each of these words are not different pieces of fruit but are all aspects of the one fruit of the Spirit that should be evident in us.
Now… the temptation for many of you is to take a “religious” path at this point and begin measuring yourself according to these aspects. Some of you more organized ones will even get out a notebook and begin rating yourselves on a scale as to how you are doing on each aspect. While this can be a helpful exercise that I have used in discipleship/counseling, I urge you to focus on the root not the fruit. The root is where the source of our behavior begins (behavior is the fruit). The behavior/fruit is indicative of what is going on deeper inside us at a root level. The roots are where a plant pulls in it’s nutrients/food. We have all heard the saying, “you are what you eat.” This is true to some degree. What we take in and focus on for our nutrients/food for our soul with effect the type of fruit produced in our lives. Whether we focus on our own selfish desires, counsel from the wicked, as mentioned in Psalm 1, or focusing on Jesus as our source makes a difference in what fruit is manifest in our lives. Jesus said, “a tree shall by known by its fruit.” As people look at the fruit manifest in your life what inferences are they likely to make about source of your security, strength, etc…?