I like to start each year grading myself on the “fruit of the Spirit”: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). I put a letter-grade beside each one: A, B, C, D, or F.
How would you grade yourself on these? It’s appropriate to consider because God is telling us, if we have his Spirit inside, these fruits will naturally flow from within. Most of us grade the lowest on patience and self-control. So, we mistakenly grit our teeth and make a New Year’s resolution to “do better!”I like to start each year grading myself on the “fruit of the Spirit”: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). I put a letter-grade beside each one: A, B, C, D, or F.
But, we don’t.
God put these fruits in this order precisely because they must—they must!—grow and then flow in this order. Love is first. Try having joy without being immersed in God’s love and growing in love for him? Forget it. Not going to happen. A little happiness here and there. But true joy?
And peace with no joy? Don’t be silly. Patience with no peace? Absurd.
So, do you love God? Do you want to love God?
You might not. You might assume you do, but you might not.
Will you stop now and examine yourself with this blunt, objective, and honest self-evaluation: “Do I love God?”
Can you even begin to imagine the transformation? No more rules but, instead, a relationship. No longer motivated by fear but, instead, compelled by love. No more “I got to” but, instead, “I get to.”
Don’t take another step in following Jesus until you have settled the answer. It all starts here. The origin of the universe starts here. The Good News starts here. The freedom Jesus promised starts here. Your spiritual journey starts, or restarts, here.
May your desire be, each day and with each prayer, “Lord, help me to love you, and to love you more.”