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
How well we each probably know this verse. I learned it as a young child. My understanding of it looked like this ~ Since Christ dwelt in my heart through faith, it was up to me to prove that I was His by how well I generated love, joy, peace, patience, etc.
The pressure was on and for nearly four decades, I stepped up to the plate to self-produce each of them. The harder the circumstances, the more difficult it was to generate them. I’m not alone, right? You know how hard it is to manufacture the counterfeits.
- I can force myself to love the unlovable and all the while I’m fuming under my breath.
- I can put on a smile and say, “God is good” when I feel He’s being unfair.
- I can declare that God’s peace passes all understanding but never have experienced it.
- I can appear patient but underneath, a volcano of frustration is just waiting to come out.
- I can perform acts of kindness but resent every moment of it.
You can probably fill in the blanks for the rest of the attributes. But is this the way I am supposed to live? Am I never to know the exhilaration of being fueled by the wind of the Spirit? Am I never to feel a supernatural wind gently nudging me to step in the sandaled footprints in front of me?
By self-producing what ‘looks like’ Christ-likeness, my inner being is shut off from the knowledge of my own sin. I refuse to admit that I’m unloving, unkind, and impatient. My ego is too fragile to confess that I am bankrupt without the Holy Spirit producing what I can not. Pretending to be like Jesus is just that. It’s pretension. It doesn’t at all resemble the genuine qualities of Christ. The glow of the Spirit is absent. Perhaps that is why our saltiness is diluted. A pretender is not a good advertisement to those in darkness. We give off a false light and they can tell. No one wants to be around inauthentic people.
Life is too difficult and way too messy for me to successfully fake it. The Spirit is willing and waiting to live through me instead. I get to experience the miracle of divine life coming in, and going out. It comes to me supernaturally, with inexplicable kingdom energy.
Teach me how to be one with You so that others see You in a way that intrigues and draws them to You. Amen