Lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:1-3; 31-32
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
THOUGHTS ON TODAY’S VERSE
How can it get any clearer than this? Paul is commanding us to live like Christians should. This is not a “once for all” choice but rather a daily decision to live the way Christ would have us live. We are to be humble, gentle, forgiving, loving and patient. We are to get rid of bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander. Throw it off! Stop. Instead, we are to be tenderhearted, forgiving and kind. One thing that stands out to me is we are to get rid of certain negative behaviors (or vices), but we are given new and positive behaviors (or virtues) to replace them. God never asks us to give up something without replacing it with a something better.
So then, how will we live during the next 24 hours? What are we going to choose to do today? We will have opportunities all day to choose. But our choices need to be grounded in the Holy Spirit. Paul writes in Galatians that the fruit of the Holy Spirit, that is the by-product of living under the direction of the Holy Spirit in our life, is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We need to make living this way our goal. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to produce His fruit in our life today. He will.
Oh Holy Spirit. I need to get rid of all the negative emotions and behaviors in my life. But I can’t without you! I need you to produce Godly behavior in my life. I want love, joy, peace, patient, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to be my normal experience. I want to be a witness to others of your love through my behavior. Come Holy Spirit, convict me, correct me, forgive me, inspire me, teach me, guide me and fill me. Might I live completely under your control. Might my life bear the fruit that only you can produce. ~Amen!
Yours, because we're His,