“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness …” (Galatians 5:22)
Everybody has influence over somebody. It’s what you do with that influence that determines whether it’s negative or positive. Sociologists tell us that over a lifetime even the shyest and most introverted person will influence about ten thousand people. Every interaction you have with another person enriches or impoverishes them. Influence is never neutral. And you can’t turn it off, because it’s built into the structure of life itself. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter what your title is. Ultimately, your character will determine if the title fits you.
The Bible says, “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). When you have those qualities, people will line up to help you, love you, and follow you. You ask, “How can I display all these qualities?” Humanly speaking, you can’t. That’s the bad news. But the good news is that it’s not only a possibility but a distinct reality — when you’re under the influence of God’s Spirit.
The story is told of a little boy who kept falling out of bed each night and waking his mother up with his crying. One night after tucking him in yet again she asked, “How come you keep falling out of bed?” He thought about it for a minute and then said, “I guess I just stayed too close to where I got in.”
Salvation is the starting point, but unless you spend time each day under the influence of Jesus, you won’t mature, you won’t maximize the spiritual gifts He has given you, and you won’t discover and fulfill your God-given assignment in life.
Heavenly Father, help me daily to be reminded of your qualities that I am to clothe myself with — Love, Joy, Peace, Patience. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.