Fruit of the Spirit in Everyday Life

Fruit of the Spirit in Everyday Life

The Fruit of the Spirit in Everyday Life

Special thanks to Mr. Chris Evans, author of the book: Fruit at Work.

We have a tendency to compartmentalize our lives.

God’s plan for our lives is that our Christian lives and our jobs or vocation work hand in hand; not in competition with one another.

Your spiritual development is an important part of your professional development.

When you allow the energy spent on spiritual growth to bless your career, there is no longer a competition between the two.

Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Where does your mind go when we talk about the fruit of the Spirit in the workplace?

  • Telling your co-worker “I love you.”
  • Unexplained outbursts of joy that get you labelled as a weirdo.
  • Kindness is seen as kissing up.
  • Peace = passivity.

Fruit – something a tree naturally produces. It doesn’t have to work to produce the fruit.

As we walk with Jesus, fruit should be the byproduct of that relationship. If Christ is the center of your life – fruit happens.

John 15:5 NKJV “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

Fruit is not something you try and produce to become a Christian; it is something you produce because you are a Christian.

A fish does not become a fish by swimming; it swims because it is a fish.

You were chosen to bear fruit.

John 15:16 NKJV You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

Psalms 1:1-3 NKJV Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; (2) But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. (3) He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

The kind of person who bears fruit is also the kind of person that finds whatever he does prospers.

Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Notice it does not say “fruits”. It is singular because the fruit is interconnected.

If I love someone I am going to be patient with them too.


The Fruit of Love – The Foundation of All Spiritual Fruit

Love is the counter-intuitive decision to desire the best for another person even if it comes at personal cost.

  • Love is a commitment to others freely given without counting the cost or calculating one’s own profit.
  • The ability to listen and learn from others is great expression of love.
  • Love in the workplace speeds the growth of trust. It is an antidote for selfishness and contempt.
  • At work, consistent love towards others, even those you don’t like, will cultivate trust and orient your heart to apply other fruit.
  • Even when you don’t agree, you can still love someone.

Take the time to listen to others. Get to know a co-worker as a person not just a co-worker. Listen to their story.

The Fruit of Joy – A Powerful Asset in Tough Times

Joy is a delight of the mind that is independent of present happiness.

  • It comes from powerful memories and our hope, through faith, in our eternal future with God.
  • Joy is powerful because it can dispel gloom and negativity, helping us to recover our momentum and stride.
  • Joy is different than happiness. Joy is something you keep with you, regardless of circumstances. It is available to you in spite of circumstances.
  • Joy is a powerful defense against bad news or fear that things will never get better.

Take moment to make a list of things that bring you joy – people, places, hobbies, a memory, a song, a movie, etc. Keep it with you for reference.

The Fruit of Peace – The Cure for Stress

Peace is a deep sense of contentment and well-being rooted in our relationship with God and all that Jesus accomplished for us in His sacrifice.

  • Peace (Shalom) more than the absence of conflict. It means completeness, soundness and well being. It is not just something eternal we will have someday – we can have it now.
  • Peace can be experienced regardless of circumstances. Peace comes by the grace of God – we can’t earn it.
  • At work peace gives a steady hand under pressure as it puts everyday pressures in perspective.

Take time everyday to read and meditate on these scriptures:

Philippians 4:6-7 NLT Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. (7) Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

The Fruit of Patience – The Grease in the Gears

Patience – means consistency.

This is learning to remain constant no matter what may be happening at the moment.

James 1:2-4 NKJV My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, (3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (4) But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

The Fruit of Kindness – Daily Demonstration of Love

Matthew 5:41 NKJV And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.

Kindness is a visible demonstration of your feeling towards others. It must be cultivated.

  • Kindness is often the way people see, perceive and receive our love.
  • The better you get at practicing kindness the more readily those around you will trust you.
  • A culture of kindness can be cultivated by simple acts of appreciation to those you work with.
  • Kindness is expressing care about those you work with. People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.

Look for ways to express appreciation to those around you. Mean it! Add paper to the copier, mentor someone…

The Fruit of Goodness – The Source of Moral Leadership

 

Goodness is the intentional choosing and doing the right thing.

 

  • Goodness is not the act of “not sinning”.
  • Standing for goodness is understanding that our human nature to fall short but yet we choose to take the “high road.”

Proverbs 10:9 NLT People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.

Being a “good” person means you do what is right even when no one is looking.

The Fruit of Faithfulness – The Power to Persevere

Faithfulness is the practice of holding fast to what you have promised in the face of challenges.

  • Faithfulness is sticking with it even when the job is more difficult than expected.

Psalms 15:4 NLT Those who… honor the faithful followers of the LORD, and keep their promises even when it hurts.

The Fruit of Gentleness – The Mark of Humility

Proverbs 11:2 NKJV When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.

Proverbs 29:23 NKJV A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor.

  • Gentleness and patience work hand in hand.
  • It is an attitude of brokenness.
  • True gentleness comes from knowing what it’s like to desperately need gentleness from others and from God.
  • At work, gentleness can often gain cooperation from others when we humbly seek help from others to avoid making mistakes

Often times it is the difference between responding and reacting.

The Fruit of Self-Control – The Source of Consistent Character

Proverbs 25:28 NIV Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.

Jack Welch – When asked what qualities to look for when hiring key managers, he responded “Integrity, Intelligence and Maturity.”

  • People with Self control can handle the heat and stress of situations and can handle setbacks.
  • Showing self-control is a good way to steadily accumulate trust over time and gain the reputation for being a steady and reliable performer.

Self-control touches all of the other fruit and guards us against a moral failure costing you your reputation, your career, and your testimony.