Fruit of the Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  ~Galatians 5:22-23

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  ~Galatians 5:25

Thanksgiving has passed us by, and the Christmas season is rapidly coming upon us. It is during these times that  I think of the fruit of the Spirit.  How hard is it to show it?  Shouldn’t we be showing it if we are Christians?

Let’s look back at Black Friday.  How many of you showed kindness that day while out rushing about trying to get the best deal?  Did you cut in line (or should I say “sneak” in line) so you could be next, or did you allow someone else to step in front of you?  Did you think bad thoughts of that person that snatched the item you wanted?  Or did you think they must have needed it more than you did?  Did you have patience with the sales clerk or the cashier?  Or were you that grumbling one that griped because they weren’t fast enough for you?

I took notice while the girls and I were out yesterday at how people were treating each other.  While I was standing in line for 30 minutes just to check out, I thought, “You know what, I am going to treat these cashiers different.”  Do you know how easy it is to treat someone with kindness or to show them gentleness or to treat someone with love?  Just as easy as it is to be hateful, disrespectful, unappreciative and unloving.

It is amazing how the countenance of a person changes when you treat them with the fruit of the Spirit!

This past week a funeral director called Tony and asked if he could do a funeral for a lady that was on our prayer list and our church had been sending cards to.  They specifically asked for Tony because of our card ministry and the fact that they didn’t have a pastor. Tony said he would. Her funeral is at 4 on Sunday.

While he was meeting with the family to get information about the dear lady that passed, I was waiting on him when the funeral director asked me what Tony was doing at 2 on Sunday.  I jokingly said, “What, you need him to do another funeral?”  And he said, “Yes, I do. So he asked Tony if he could do that funeral as well, and Tony said he would. Now you have to remember, these people are not members of our church and as far as we know are lost, but during this difficult time in their lives, we can show them the love of Christ by being there for them.

I also read this story of a friend of mine and the kindness that she showed towards another:

“So, I was just at Hobby Lobby. Made my purchase and walked outside before I realized the cashier charged me for another item that wasn’t mine. Walked back inside and she knew exactly why I came back in… instead of getting in front of everyone that was in the line, I decided to just go to the back of the line and wait yet again. The guy in front of me tries to purchase this large sketch pad but the cashier tells him it isn’t 50% off anymore. All he had was a $20 in hand. So I slyly pass my phone to him with an electronic coupon on it. He understood what was up, took phone, and showed the cashier the coupon. I prayed he wouldn’t run away with my phone. He didn’t…said thank you and left. I correct my purchase and walk outside. He’s standing there by his car waiting for me. He says thank you again. He choked up as if he were about to cry and said, “you don’t know what you just did for me.” I really didn’t know… then he pulls out a portrait from his car of Manny Pacquiao. He tells me he’s a starving artist and that he has been drawing large portraits with all proceeds going to victims of the typhoon in the Philippines. Then I got choked up, because he doesn’t know what he just did for me…”

My kids think I am crazy when I go into stores or ride in an elevator, I just start speaking to people. My thinking is that people nowadays have enough junk going on in their lives, I can show them the love of Christ. Maybe, when they see Christ in us they will desire to have Him as well.

Though Thanksgiving has come and gone, and Christmas is just around the corner, let us show the fruit of the Spirit to others.  And not only during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, but all year long!!

~Stacey

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