A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity of helping out with our yearly Sunday School Anniversary. Specifically, I helped the three and four-year olds prepare for their performance – a really catchy and adorable group song all about the Fruit of the Spirit.
Let’s just say that the performance didn’t quite go as planned… (And by that, I mean that once they were on stage, none of the kids actually sang the song, NOR did they do the adorable dance with it that they had practiced for weeks on end prior to Anniversary.) They all stood up there like nervous little tin soldiers, while their fun, catchy, group-song, soundtrack played in the background. It was an (adorable) epic fail.
Those kiddos may not have remembered much about the Fruit of the Spirit that day, but I’ve thought about it ever since! In fact, I really started thinking about whether I’ve been diligent in exercising the Fruit of the Spirit in my own life! What I’ve come to find is there are so many ways to live out the Fruit of the Spirit, and all it takes is dedication and commitment towards allowing that Fruit to be seen in our lives!
So let’s have ourselves a little challenge.
How likely are you to do at least 3 of these things before the end of the week? OR even better, how likely are you to do all of them? I guess we’ll find out! 🙂
CHALLENGE #1: LOVE
One of the best ways to show love is to express it through actions. Has there been somebody who’s been on your mind lately? Visit, call or text them this week. Remind them that they are loved by you, and more importantly, loved by God.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. | Deuteronomy 6:5
CHALLENGE #2: JOY
We all have plenty of reasons to be joyful in life. Yes, this may come in different forms and might be easier to identify for some. But if we all really dig deep enough, God’s blessed us with more than we could imagine. Comment on this post with something that brings you joy – no matter what it might be! Sometimes, just writing it out reminds you how thankful you are to have that source of joy in your life!
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. | Psalm 28:7
CHALLENGE #3: PEACE
The best way to enjoy peace? To release any and everything that is stopping you from experiencing it fully. That includes forgiving that one person you’ve been struggling to forgive. Think about it this way – we fail God EVERY. DAY. Can you imagine if He didn’t forgive us or made us go the extra mile to receive His forgiveness? But He doesn’t. And neither should you. Forgive them. No matter what it was. Don’t forget that He forgives you every day.
May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace. | Numbers 6:26
CHALLENGE #4: PATIENCE
We tend to be the most patient with people who are the easiest to deal with. Now, throw someone who annoys you to no ends in the picture, and I’m sure that patience would wear off pretty quickly! How likely are you to be patient with someone who irritates you? Spend time with them this week. And don’t complain about it afterwards!
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. | Ephesians 4:2
CHALLENGE #5: KINDNESS
It’s easy to be kind to people who return the favor. But what about those who seem like they could care less about you? If we’re going to try to imitate GENUINE kindness, it means not caring about whether the other person reflects it back. So pray specifically for someone you don’t like very much. Or even better, pray specifically for someone who doesn’t like YOU very much.
Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. | Proverbs 3:3
CHALLENGE #6: GOODNESS
Let’s take Challenge #5 to another level. So let’s say you’ve said that prayer on behalf of your not-so-favorite person. That’s GREAT. But how likely are you to actually do something GOOD for them? Yes – that’s right. I’m challenging you to go out and actually do a GOOD DEED for this person, and not expect even a thank you in return!
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life… | Psalm 23:6
CHALLENGE #7: FAITHFULNESS
Each of us has been blessed beyond measure. Think you’ve got it the worst out of everyone you know? TRUST ME, there’s someone who is in an even worse situation. When God has blessed us with so much, it’s important that we are faithful with what He’s given us. So I challenge you to be faithful with your blessings. Whether that’s your time, possessions, money – whatever! Use something that God has blessed YOU with to bless someone else this week.
They (His compassions) are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. | Lamentations 3:23
CHALLENGE #8: GENTLENESS
Oftentimes, I feel like gentleness is my biggest area of struggle! I want to generally be more gentle and serene, but let’s be real, not every one of us is “serene” by nature! But a practice I think would benefit us all is exercising gentleness through our words. Every morning this week, say a prayer before you speak to anybody. Ask God to help you be gentle in your thoughts and words – and that everything you say will point back to Him.
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. | Philippians 4:5
CHALLENGE #9: SELF-CONTROL
In a society where you’re supposed to “get what you want when you want it”, it’s hard even for believers to not fall into this train of thought. What we tend to forget is that in all truth – ALL we need in life is Jesus. What we do instead is we try to fill our lives with other stuff that sort of replaces Christ, including: money, food, alcohol, Netflix, toxic relationships and even shopping! Can you give up any of these, or anything else that takes up more of your time than time spent with Jesus?
Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. | Proverbs 25:28
Think you’re up for the challenge? I think you’ll quickly find how beneficial doing any of these things can be. And better yet, the more we practice the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives, the closer we get to imitating the way that God so desires for us to live. So what’re you waiting for? Fruit up!