“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
A team of law students become entangled with the sordid details of their professor’s life, and find themselves burying bodies.
A woman in a powerful position has an affair with her boss.
A politician plots and schemes his way into the White House.
A circle of women claw at each other to get the most out of the reality TV spotlight.
These are plots from some of today’s most popular television shows, and we love every lecherous moment of it. We set our schedules around the air times, binge watch entire seasons on our days off, and live tweet as we watch. Each of these shows has something in common. All of the story lines and the characters are guided by the flesh.
We live in a world that glorifies the flesh. You name it and you can find it, stream it, or watch it on your phone. Though fleshly living may feel good, through the flesh is not the way God intended for us to live. His intention is for us to live through His spirit.
The Apostle Paul addressed Spirit versus fleshly living in a letter to the Galatians. In his epistle, he explains that the Spirit and the flesh are “in conflict” with one another (Galatians 5:17), and encourages the people of Galatia to deny the flesh by “liv[ing] by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16).
Not much has changed since that letter was written. Those television shows I mentioned are a reflection of the fleshly encounters many of us deal with every day. Another thing that has not changed is the fact that we must deny our flesh—impurities, sexual immorality, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, and other things like these” (Galatians 5:20-21)—in order to live through the Spirit.
Thankfully, Paul did not leave the Galatians, or us, without a roadmap into how we can live by the Spirit. That roadmap is the Fruit of the Spirit—“love, joy, peace, patience (longsuffering), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”—that God develops through us.
This summer, we will explore how God wants to develop the Fruit of the Spirit within each of us. I hope you will join me every Wednesday on this journey of “Living the Fruit of the Spirit”.
Join me Wednesday, June 22nd as I delve into Longsuffering.