In the two earlier posts I covered Love, Joy, Peace, and Self Control. Today I write on the last of the fruit of Spirit which are longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness. As said in the earlier posts, these words have God’s definition and they also have a worldly definition, so it is important not to mix them up by the world’s defined view on them. In the Kingdom, which is Jesus Christ’s Kingship and rule, authority and dominion, the fruit of the Spirit is given to those who were granted a new life.
So let’s examine the last of these fruits briefly.
Longsuffering = God’s patience. This would His type of longsuffering not worldly patience. Probably the closest one will exhibit it is a parent as they raise their children. You don’t expect your 2 year old to act like an adult, or be as knowledgeable by this longsuffering, which is patience. You know the child will grow and mature, just as God knows His children will grow in faith and mature in faith. So with this patience, the restraint of anger and a tolerance is demonstrated because your expectations on another is reasonable according to their maturity. Many churches FAIL this test, because they’ll expect a new creation to be fully mature, but they aren’t, so patience is limited. I can say from a personal testimony, in my former life, I HAD ZERO longsuffering as a fruit. I was extremely impatient. As soon as God made me a new creation, longsuffering was granted, and for the first time in my life I grew in patience. A Christian will always have some form of longsuffering, not only towards their children, but to everyone in their life!
Kindness = The quality of being UNCONDITIONALLY generous, friendly, courteous, and considerate of others. Like love as said in the earlier post, you are kind NOT because you are expecting something in return, but a Godly gracious kindness. As Jesus explained, “don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing”, meaning don’t place a condition on being kind to another. A Godly kindness is a giving kindness, and as Scripture teaches in 1 Cor 9:7, “God loves a cheerful giver”. Meaning you give to another NOT out of a grudge or necessity, but it freely flows from your heart. Self-less kindness is Godly fruit!
Goodness = God’s goodness, or truthful goodness. God is a truth teller, be one! Worldly goodness is not Godly goodness, because that type of goodness is temporary, fleeting, and used to manipulate others. Whereas God’s goodness never fades and it never seeks to manipulate others. Part of this goodness is your desire to share the Gospel, which is power of God unto salvation. If saved, you desire ANY and ALL to hear this Good News, to join you in your new Kingdom! You now realize in the Kingdom what is good and what is bad, and seek always the good for not yourself, but for God’s glory as you now represent His name!
Faithfulness = a Godly loyalty which is the fruit of the Spirit. This loyalty is your supreme priority in life if a Christian. You do not seek to dethrone Jesus, but to submit to Him in faith, and faith alone. Like every fruit of the Spirit, faithfulness starts out as a seed and it steadily grows. So if your fruit is not growing, but dying or is dead, that wasn’t a fruit planted by God. In this type of faithfulness, come hell or high water, you will never break! You are a Job of the Bible! The devil could throw as many hardships your way as possible, but this fruit can never be broken, your faithfulness will always prevail!
Gentleness = In the fruit of the Spirit it is defined as being CALM, peaceful. You aren’t an angry person, going on tirades now. Gentleness will exhibit forgiveness of others, the same way God forgave you of your sins. You are gentle realizing what Jesus did for you on the Cross and knowing if God didn’t treat you with this type of gentleness, where would you be? If you had a bad temper before your rebirth, that fruit of gentleness God granted you turned that on its head, it should be fading to non-existence. This fruit for me I would say grew slowly based on the entanglements in my former life, but I realized the growth. In this gentleness, you are no longer a grudge keeper, because that would be the antithesis to the fruit!
Again, this fruit of Spirit GROWS if you were saved. You aren’t going to have perfectly full bloomed fruit upon the rebirth, but the seedling growth begins and will last a lifetime which is called the sanctification of your spirit as God grows you to the image of His Son. So don’t be frustrated if you aren’t perfect in this fruit of the Spirit, you won’t be, but REJOICE in the growth and maturity and IF saved there is no mistaking the growth if you are self-aware.
Lastly, let us humbly and whole heartedly thank God for this fruit of the Spirit! Without it, where would we be?