I came across Galatians 5:22-23 this morning in studying out joy. I love these verses, because they remind me of the plans that God has for my life. As He sanctifies me and I walk with Him, He will work these qualities in my life.

Galatians 5:22-23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

What struck me as new this morning was the context of the passage where these verses are found. In Galatians 5:16-26, Paul is exhorting the Galatians to walk by the Spirit. He wants them to live daily life desiring what the Spirit desires. He contrasts walking by the Spirit with walking by the flesh, giving a list of fleshly sins before moving on to the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:19 says, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality…” and the list goes on. Paul’s point is that walking by the flesh results in fruit, the works of the flesh, and these are actions that are evident to people looking on. The Greek root for the word evident is “shining.” These works are apparent, outward, known, there for everyone to see.

Now I thought this next part was fascinating! Just as walking by the flesh produces works of the flesh (fruit!), so walking by the Spirit will produce works – the fruit of the Spirit. The thoughts are parallel in the text. And just as the fruit of the flesh is evident, so the fruit of the Spirit should be evident.

The fruit of the Spirit are not just soft fluffy feelings we get when we’re saved. These qualities have hands and feet, practical application in our lives. Love and joy and peace and the rest should be actions that make God’s work in my life evident.

How does this affect my daily life as a wife and mommy? Am I loving my husband and my son well, putting their needs above my own? Am I demonstrating joy when life is difficult and peace when life is worrisome? How am I already demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit, and what are ways that I can grow?

I’m excited by what God is teaching me with these verses. I love it when His Word is made so practical for my daily life! Any other thoughts on Galatians 5? What has God been teaching you? 🙂

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