Take a minute and think to yourself of the attributes you want to flow out of your church community. Seriously… take out your phone and set a timer for a minute and think of your church’s attributes. If your church dissolved this week, would your city take notice?
The Fruits of the Spirit sum up attributes of a good friend. If you want a friend who exudes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control, chances are other people want that too. This is yet another example of an opportunity for you to be the thing that you need in your church.
If your kitchen is like mine, there is a mason jar that sits empty in a cabinet. It has been neglected for 11 years and only ever occasionally used to serve iced sweet tea with a straw during a hot summer day. We are going to take this much-ignored cabinet dweller and turn it into a new family ritual. Here is what you need to do:
Write the Fruits of the Spirit on slips of paper
Fold the slips of paper in half and put them in the jar
Every day, close your eyes and pick a fruit out of the jar
Return the slip of paper to the jar and give it a shake to avoid double-dipping
This sounds simple enough, and it can even be a fun family activity during breakfast every morning. The challenge is not to create the jar and pick a fruit, but to figure out ways to act upon the fruit throughout the day. Here are some tips to help this new habit stick:
- The goal is not to accomplish a task. For example, if you draw “LOVE,” you are not tasked with the responsibility of doing one loving thing today, rather, you are to embody love to everyone today. In the same way that an actor takes on every characteristic and mannerism of a character, you are to do the same with this Fruit of the Spirit. You will find this challenging for certain fruits, such as, “GOODNESS.”
- They are called Fruits of the SPIRIT for a reason. You will find that without a dependence on the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit in your life each day, you will not be able to fulfill the challenge to become the fruit. This exercise is just as much about praying for God to create in you the fruit as it is an encouragement to exhibit the evidence of the fruit.
- Each day, look for ways to apply your spiritual “Fruit” in a new way. For example, you can focus on your conversations when you have ‘Self-Control’ and take extra care of the words coming out of your mouth. Or, if you drew the fruit, ‘Gentleness,’ you can apply the fruit to the way that you drive your vehicle. Would gentleness obey basic traffic laws like the speed limit?
I hope that this day sparks ideas and stories. If you have any more creative ideas for applying the Fruit of the Spirit to your life, I want to hear about them! Let me know how it goes, especially if you see your relationships blossom as a result of the fruit you are tasked with embodying that day!