If you have looked on social media or read the news lately, I’m sure you’ve seen a ton of division. There’s not a lot of good news out there especially when we’re this close to an election. Election season is easily the most divisive time in my nation and the 2020 election has been no different. As I was praying and processing with the Lord what I was going to write about leading up to and after the election, I kept circling back to the fruit of the Spirit.
In Galatians 5, we see a list of 9 different characteristics that we bear when we are filled with and being led by the Holy Spirit. In Galatians 5, we also see a list of the characteristics we bear when we are being led by our flesh. This chapter reminds me that no matter what, we will bear some type of fruit. Our lives will reflect what we believe. Our actions tell us where we’re putting our trust.
““For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:43-45 (ESV)
Our lives are just like fruit trees: the outside exposes the inside.
This is one of those areas where I can easily trick myself. I can get so caught up in what I believe, that I can excuse away my actions. When I do something that I know doesn’t line up with God, I can easily push it away because, after all, I love God, so I have to be always led by him. But verses like the ones above remind me that my actions are an indicator of what’s going on in my heart.
I can easily overlook my own heart. I can get out of sync and out of touch with myself, believing the best about me. But my actions speak for themselves. When I’m willing to look soberly and honestly at my life, my actions reveal a lot about my beliefs. I might profess to trust God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength, but if I’m unwilling to tithe or give, then I might be trusting in myself more than him. Or when I claim to value what God has to say, but I leave his word closed, my actions show that I value my comfort over his voice or my opinions over his own.
Here in America, we are in the midst of a very divisive moment politically and culturally. Thankfully, as Christians, we are citizens of the Kingdom first and foremost, so Kingdom culture should pervade our actions and our speech. This season, this month, in particular, gives us a perfect opportunity to really examine what our actions and words reveal about what we believe. I don’t say this to shame or condemn anyone; I don’t believe that God will heal, free, and restore us until we’re willing to be honest. We will always blow it and, thankfully, his grace is there to catch us. We just have to be willing to humble ourselves and receive.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (ESV)
Let’s courageously and humbly examine our lives, actions, and words and invite God to heal any wrong beliefs. Let’s experience his grace in a new and deeper way today!
What does the fruit of your life reveal?
How do your reactions in this season match up with your belief in God?
To go Deeper: Read The Fruit of the Spirit isn’t in the Produce Aisle,
Belief Determines Behavior