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. (Gal. 5:22–23)
Have you ever met someone who looked so similar to someone else that you just knew they had to be related? I recently came across a student who looked so similar to another one that I immediately suspected a relationship. Sure enough, I knew her older sister.
Christians should look a certain way. I do not mean how they dress or their length of hair. Those were superficial features that sometimes distracted an earlier generation. It is easy to lose focus on heart matters because they are not as easy to see as the way a person looks externally.
Rather, people should be able to know us as Christian by the way we interact with the world around us. To help us know the difference, Paul gave two lists in Galatians 5. We looked at the first one yesterday, a list of how those with the Spirit will not look. Today, we have a list that shows us how those who are filled with the Spirit do look.
Are you a Christian? Then you will show love to others. You will be a person of joy who sows peace and is kind. You will be gentle, patient, faithful, and self-controlled. Christians are people of the Spirit, and people of the Spirit look like this. We may be tempted not to be this way, but the Spirit gives victory.
Surrender to the power of the Spirit.
Ken Schenck is vice president for planning and innovation at Houghton College (NY) and a professor in New Testament. He previously served as dean of Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University.
© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.