Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
We are in the third week of looking a the fruits of the spirit as defined in Galatians. The first week, we studied the fruit of love, the foundation for all the other fruits. Last week, we talked about Joy and Peace and how those fruits differed from the worldly view. Today, we will look at the fruits of forbearance and faithfulness. These are out of order from the scripture because kindness and goodness go together so well in a discussion.
Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
When I started researching the fruits, and I came across forbearance, I had to stop and ask myself, what the heck is it. Google defines forbearance as “patient self-control; restraint and tolerance.” Since self-control is another fruit, we will use the definition of patience for this fruit. And when we have patience, something I lack, we move through life with restraint and tolerance.
Isaiah 11:5 “Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.”
As Christians, we are called to bear the fruit of patience. So what will that look like in our daily lives? Tolerance means we wait on the Lord to move before us. Waiting on the Lord feels counter-intuitive to our culture today, a society that wants everything now. Our hearts have learned that what God offers us is worth the wait. Patience also teaches us to put up with difficult circumstances and difficult people. We endure trials for the sack of Christ because He bore the cross for us. We love the unlovable because Christ loved us and everyone is a child of God. God is patient with us so we model this back to the world so that no one may perish, but each may receive eternal life.
Faithfulness means more than just our faith in God. This fruit also says we are called to be reliable and trustworthy. People know they can count on us to be available to help or to listen. We are faithful to follow God and the nudging of the Holy Spirit to do what is right and even to suffer because of Christ. And, even when our faith gets tested in the world, we stand firm because God faithfully gives us His strength to endure all things.
Together, the fruits of patience and faithfulness allow the world to see Christ in us. Both of these traits are in short supply in our communities. In a fast-paced world, we don’t want to wait. And we see the message of the world calling us to do everything for ourselves, trusting no one. These fruits stand as beacons to draw the lost back to Christ. The apostle Paul uses these examples of fruits of the spirit to teach us and grow us to be more Christ-like in hopes to draw more people to God. Our job is to cultivate the soil so these fruits can grow freely in our lives. “Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.” (Romans 7:5-6)
Yvonne – #blogger, #speaker, and #author
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”