One work of the Holy Spirit in our life is to sanctify us by continually, although often slowly, replacing in us the negative attributes of our personality with His spiritual fruit.
Galatians 5:22-23 describes for us the fruit of the Spirit…”But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
Sometimes, it is confusing to put the meaning of these words in simple terms. The definitions I like are:
Love – affection for others
Joy – exuberance about life
Peace – serenity
Patience – willingness to stick with it
Gentleness – compassion from the heart
Goodness – kindness that pervades our entire being
Meekness – humility and service
Self-Control – guided by the Spirit
Faith – trust that God knows what He’s doing
When I compare these to their opposites, the negative characteristics cause me to shudder. I certainly want no part of them in my character:
Envy, strife, hatred, bitterness, self-centeredness, pride, criticism, worry, depression, quitters and complainers, backbiters, and people who put work and fun ahead of God (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
The Good News is that the Spirit of Jesus Christ within us sanctifies us moment-by-moment! He replaces:
hatred with love,
depression with true joy,
discontentment with peace,
irritation with patience,
criticism with gentleness,
backbiting with goodness,
pride with meekness,
excess with self-control,
and worry with the faith of God as we are controlled and guided by His Spirit.
Father God, we thank You for putting Your fruit in us in place of the negative traits we learned from others, those that are ingrained in our personality with which we are born, and those that we develop through the disappointments of life.
We give our life to You to mold and make into the divine nature of Christ as He abides within us. We want to be lights of Your character to the world around us, and to have the mind of Christ rather than the whims of our flesh, the world or the devil. Thank You for Your sanctifying work in our life.
Thought for the Day:
God replaces our negative character traits with the fruit of His Spirit as we willingly submit to His surgeon's scalpel, the Word of God, which divides our flesh from our spirit.
- Hebrews 4:12