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Seven-Day Practical Faith Blog: Fruits of the Spirit Series Launch

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV 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.

I'm starting a summertime series of Seven-Day Practical Faith Blog posts on the Fruits of the Spirit, which are integral to our daily faith practice. Today I'll share a few thoughts about the fruits as a whole, then through the nine Fridays of July and August, I'll discuss each fruit individually.

Many but not all Christians are familiar with the Fruits of the Spirit expressed by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians. They are behaviors and qualities that the Jesus follower should exhibit. But Paul is accurate in labeling these qualities as "fruits" and "of the Spirit." These characteristics are the fruits, or the results, of the Holy Spirit's cultivation of our souls.

Improving such behaviors is not our work alone. If you are impatient, you need to lean on the Holy Spirit to develop your patience. If you do not feel peaceful, you need to tap into the peace of the Holy Spirit. If you struggle with self-control, the Spirit will teach you self-control if you are pliant to the Spirit's molding.

We don't become more patient by gritting our teeth and insisting we will be patient. We become more patient by seeing things from a Spirit perspective, aligning our expectations with the Spirit, and working and re-working with the Spirit as we encounter patience opportunities.

A revelation I've had while contemplating this series is how the Spirit fruits are essential in following Jesus' great commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. Love on its own is tricky. Applying joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc. will make it easier to love others.

I'll start by discussing love in next week's post. In each subsequent post, I'll make sure to tie that fruit into love to show how our ability to love grows as our fruits are developed.

In the meantime, I ask you to join me in praying for development and improvement of our Spirit fruits. The Holy Spirit resides within each of us, so I want to assure you that the seeds of all fruits are somewhere inside us as well. Let us connect with the Spirit in growing those seeds to maturity.

My book, "From Comfort Zone to Trust Zone," was recently featured on a blogger tour. I'll leave the sixteen links up a few days longer so you can read eight interviews with me and eight reviews of the book. You can start the blogger tour by clicking on the travel bag picture on my home page or by going directly to the tour itinerary.

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