But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.—Galatians 5:22-23
Our gatherings with friends and loved ones may look a little different this year—possibly smaller, possibly more sparse. Your guest list may be limited by COVID concerns. Your menu may be limited by availability or budget. But no matter what else is on your holiday menu, be sure to contribute a generous quantity of fruit—the fruit of the spirit, that is.
As our culture continues to breed division, be the living manifestation of love. Let the world know you are Christ’s disciples by your love for one another (John 13:35).
To a world riddled with anger and polarization, radiate joy. Remember to rejoice in the Lord always, a concept so important that Paul had to repeat it to make his point (Philippians 4:4).
To a world filled with uncertainty, be an ambassador of peace. In as much as it possible, live in peace with one another (Romans 12:18). Remember that the mind governed by the spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:6), and the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:9).
To a world that’s increasingly on edge and in perpetual attack mode, show patience.
To a world that promotes self-interest, demonstrate kindness.
To a world that elevates and celebrates evil, be known for your goodness. Let your light shine brightly for God’s glory (Matthew 5:16).
To a world that has wandered from the truth, be a living example of faithfulness.
To a world in which the loudest, harshest voices get the most credence, let your gentleness be evident to all (Philippians 4:5).
To a world that exalts self and the lusts of the flesh, exercise self-control.
Producing that kind of fruit requires a heart of surrender and humility and servitude. And the world needs what we have to give, maybe now more than ever.
This holiday season, I pray you will experience and show gratitude for God’s bounty in every area of your life. More than that, I pray you will abound in the fruit that can leave behind a taste of heaven for those who share your table.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.—Philippians 1:9-11