Galatians 5:22-23a "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."
You have all seen my moments of being an air head. They actually happen more often than I am comfortable admitting. So, I know all of you already are aware of what this verse is saying. I, however, just realized.
Anyway, this verse about the fruits of the Spirit is one I have heard all of my life. I can rattle it off to you and actually do think about it often. For instance, I think about how patience is a fruit of the Spirit as I am losing it in front of my children, obviously not having any patience what so ever. I think about gentleness being a fruit of the Spirit as I hear too harsh of words exit my mouth just a little too late to stop them. Then, I beat myself up wondering how on earth I am supposed to teach these precious children about the fruits when I myself cannot seem to do them. Well, that thinking right there, my friend, is exactly my problem! This thought process is centered around me and my "doings."
Just as my salvation has nothing to do with my deeds, my character, or anything else "me," neither does living out the fruits of the Spirit. They are not MY fruits!!! This is the new revelation! I do not produce this kind of fruit. I am sinful and nothing without Christ. These are the fruits of the SPIRIT! They are HIS fruits, HIS characteristics. When the Holy Spirit is guiding me, then HIS character comes out, because I am out of the way and He is glorified. So, my humbling but not surprising conclusion is that I am running my life and not the Spirit.
There are fruits that my personality is more bent toward. You will meet kind people, gentle people, even patient people. They will not live out all of these perfectly, though. They won't even live out any of these perfectly. I cannot work harder to be patient or joyful or good. I cannot grit my teeth and have self control conquered. The fruit of the Spirit are not rewards that I receive for my efforts, they are His and His alone.
So, if you have the pleasure of seeing the fruits of the Spirit in me or someone else, stop and praise God for you have just had the privilege of encountering Him! The person is just another sinful person like yourself. Don't go off trying to figure out what they are doing correctly and mimic them in some effort to make your life better. Go and get to know our Lord more deeply, and you too might have the privilege of seeing some of the Spirit's fruits!