This post is part of the Resolved series: a collection of 21 personal resolutions that I’m writing/preaching to myself.
If you’d like a little more information, please visit this introduction to the Resolved series.
Resolved, to diligently pursue, by God’s grace, a life that is marked by the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
What and Why?
Here’s where I explain what I mean and why it matters.
Grace Driven Pursuit
The lie that underlines all of our attempts to grow spiritually is the thought that we’re capable of affecting our own heart change. That lie says that all we have to do is try hard and behave differently. The truth of the Bible teaches us over and over again that real, sustained spiritual growth comes from a complete change of heart. [Ezek 36:26-27]
If I stand on my effort alone, the pursuit of these gifts devolves into an exercise in behavior modification. I tend to repeat myself on this one, but if my effort to pursue any these gifts is not conceived of, rooted in, and sustained by the working of God and His Spirit within me, then none of this will stick.
The Fruit of the Spirit
“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 5:22-23 ESV
Each of these needs a blog post/book/library within itself, but in short…
- Love for all those whom God would put in my path.
- Joy deep in my heart, rooted in the fullness of Christ, and completely independent of my circumstances.
- Peace of mind and heart found in the full assurance of what God has done in Christ.
- Patience in God as He works everything together according to His will.
- Kindness towards everyone; including those who might consider themselves my enemies.
- Goodness in all things, as patterned after the example set forth in Jesus.
- Faithfulness toward God and the pursuit of Him alone.
- Gentleness in all interaction and conversation.
- Self-Control in any situation where godliness and worldliness collide.
How and When?
Here’s where I look at ways to practically apply this resolution to my life.
- Cling to joy in moments of suffering.
- Find peace in moments of war.
- Exercise patience in moments of anxiety.
- Present kindness in moments of anger.
- Pursue goodness in moments of struggling.
- Maintain faithfulness in moments of trial.
- Exhibit gentleness in moments of confrontation.
- Practice self-control in moments of temptation.
That’s it for resolution #12. If you’d like to keep up with this series, feel free to click one of the links below and subscribe to my RSS feed.