Fruit That Satisfies
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22–23
“Eat more fruit” is sound advice for overall physical health. Fruit contains nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It satisfies our sweet tooth, yet it lowers our risk of heart disease and diabetes. For most people, fruit is a win-win food.
No surprise, then, that the God who designed our physical bodies used fruit as a metaphor–not in relation to what we consume but to what we produce.
In Galatians 5, Paul addresses the freedom Christians enjoy because we’ve been delivered from the power of sin by accepting God’s gift of salvation. But he also warns against using our freedom to indulge in sinful behaviors (vv. 19–21). These habits produce harmful fruit that hurts others and dishonors God.
On the other hand, Paul says, the Holy Spirit produces fruit that benefits others and glorifies God. Because these attributes are rooted in God’s character, we can’t manufacture them. In fact, on our own, we can produce spiritual junk food and all its health risks.
A far wiser decision is to give the Holy Spirit free access to our lives. He’ll eliminate the spiritual junk food and cultivate God-glorifying fruit:
- Unconditional love that seeks to serve God by serving others
- Peace that’s unaffected by circumstances
- Joyful confidence in God despite adversity
- Endurance that enables us to wait expectantly for God to act
- Kind actions and words that point others to God
- A passion to exalt good and avoid evil
- Loyalty to God and His Word
- Humility that yields to God’s authority and power
- Moderation in all areas of our life
The list given Galatians 5:22–23 is somewhat overwhelming. The Holy Spirit has a lot of work to do in my life. Maybe you feel that way too. Here’s the good news: The Spirit isn’t finished with you or me. He’s committed to “presenting us faultless” to God when we arrive in heaven (Jude 1:24). And that means he’ll keep weeding out the bad and cultivating the good as long as we let him.
So what will it be, spiritual junk food or the soul-satisfying fruit of the Spirit? The choice is ours.
Read Galatians 5:16–24. Contrast the list of spiritual junk food in verses 19–21 with the fruit of the Spirit in verses 22–23. What junk food does the Holy Spirit need to remove from your life? What fruit does He most need to cultivate?
Read Colossians 1:9–14. What does Paul say is necessary to bear fruit in every good work? What are the benefits of that fruit for us and for others?
What fruit is mentioned in Hebrews 13:15–16? How is that fruit related to the fruit of the Spirit?
Read Matthew 3:1–10. What fruit is John the Baptist talking about? What does he say will happen to those who don’t produce good fruit?
Denise K. Loock
This devotion is part of a series on the Holy Spirit.