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Fruit of the Spirit – GENTLENESS

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” 
Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

Several years ago there was a popular show on TV called “19 Kids and Counting,” a story about the Duggars, a Christian family with (guess how many kids???) 19 kids! Several years ago I caught an interview on TV with the family and I will never forget what one of the daughters said about her mom. She said (this is not verbatim) her mom was one of the most patient people she’d met. She had never witnessed her yelling, but always witnessed her mother’s gentle, but firm, correction.

The affirmation of Mrs. Duggars gentleness was a profound example to me of how I can live my life with my children and husband, but especially my children. While I firmly believe it is not a spiritual gift, the vast majority of children do have a “gift” for knowing just the right buttons to press to get their parents to their boiling point. For you maybe it’s your co-worker, your spouse, or a friend. Whoever it is, through the Holy Spirit’s power living in us we do have the ability to maintain our self-control and speak and act gently in exasperating situations.

Proverbs 15:1 states that “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger, ” (NIV). And Proverbs 18:21 tells us that “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” It may be a lifelong process, but through the power of the Holy Spirit we do have the ability to tame our tongues. It is a daily prayer of mine. I shall pray it over you today as well friend.

God bless!

Noree Wegmeyer

Photo Credit: https://www.freeimages.com/photo/butterfly-13-1176576

Fruit of the Spirit -GOODNESS

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” 
Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

Goodness and kindness are similar, but there is a subtle difference between the two. Kindness is more so defined as actions displayed towards others out of a tender heart, however goodness is a “moral and spiritual excellence,” (MacArthur, “The MacArthur Bible Commentary, 2005, pg. 1676) displayed in either kindness towards others or towards an activity one is engaged in. For example, Colossians 3:23 tells us “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord… .” When you do something in excellence because you’re doing out of a heart for the Lord, you’ve done a “good job.” It could be studying for an exam, cooking a meal for your family, or completing a project for work.

When a child has a choice to either share with their sibling or be selfish and they choose to share, parents will often say: “Good job! You’ve made a good choice.” Most often parents are praying that choice came out of the goodness of their heart and not out of a duty to following the rules.

Sincere goodness flows out a transformed heart. That transformation comes through the power of the Holy Spirit, hence, goodness being one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. In Matthew 25 Jesus tells the parable of the talents. To the servants who showed integrity and faithfulness in stewarding what the master had given them, the master told them, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” (emphasis mine). I hope that you take a moment today to reflect on the kindness and goodness of God towards you, and how you can reflect that in your life towards others.

God bless!

Noree Wegmeyer

 

 

Photo Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/cheerful-close-up-coffee-cup-208165/

 

Fruit of the Spirit -KINDNESS

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” 
Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

Being kind in this world is becoming a lost art in some areas of our culture. In Matthew 5:40-42 Jesus tells His followers “If someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” And in Romans 12:20 Paul tells his audience “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Paul is quoting from the book of Proverbs. In fact, the Old Testament is full of “kindness” laws. Within the book of Deuteronomy, there are a plethora of laws that deal with being kind, fair and honest with your family, neighbors and foreigners.

Love displays itself in kindness towards others. Romans 2:4 tells us that it’s the kindness of God that leads us toward repentance. Being kind will draw people to you, and in doing so hopefully those people will ultimately be drawn to God. Being kind is asking the clerk behind the cashier’s counter how their day is going. Being kind is watching your neighbors’ kids while she runs another kid to the ER. Kindness is handing out cold water bottles on a hot day at the stadium, or raking your elderly neighbors’ yard in the fall. The chance to be kind is all around you. I challenge you to ask God to open your eyes to see the opportunities to display kindness to those around you. I think you’ll be surprised at how many opportunities there are!

God bless!

Noree Wegmeyer

 

 

 

Photo Credit:   https://www.pexels.com/photo/soldier-giving-red-fruit-on-2-children-during-daytime-36785/