This weekend, we kicked off a new series on “the fruit of the Spirit,” which Paul, one of the Bible’s authors, lists in Galatians 5:22-23. He writes,
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Paul uses the word “fruit” to describe the outcome of Jesus’ work in our lives—if we give Him some leeway, we’ll find these traits becoming increasingly common in the way we engage life and interact with others.
An author we particularly like, Tim Keller (we did a Bible study he wrote last winter) defined each of these fruits (including the word Paul uses in Greek), and even gives ways that we “fake” them. Give it a read as we journey through this series.
And, ask yourself: am I demonstrating genuine fruit, or the counterfeit version of it?
Agape – love
Definition – To serve a person fo rtheir good and intrinsic value, not for what the person brings you.
Opposite – Fear: self-protection and abusing people.
Counterfeit – Selfish affection. Rescuing someone but really rescuing self. Attracted not to a person, but to how this person’s love makes you feel about yourself.
Chara – joy
Definition – Delight in God and his salvation for sheer beauty and worth of who he is.
Opposite – Hopelessness, despair.
Counterfeit – Elation that comes with blessings not the Blesser! Mood swings based on circumstances.
Irene – peace
Definition – Confidence and rest in the wisdom and sovereignty of God more than your own.
Opposite – Anxiety and worry
Counterfeit – Indifference, apathy, not caring about something. “I don’t care.”
Makrothumia – patience
Definition – Ability to take trouble (from others or life) without blowing. To suffer joyfully.
Opposite – Resentment toward God and others.
Counterfeit – Cynicism. Self-righteousness. “This is too small to be bothered about.”
Chrestotes – kindness
Definition – Practical kindness with vulnerability out of deep inner security.
Opposite – Envy. Unable to rejoice other’s joy.
Counterfeit – Manipulative good deeds. “Right hand knowing what left hand is doing.” Self-congratulation and self-righteousness.
Agathosune – goodness. (integrity)
Definition – Honesty, transparency. Being the same in one situation as another.
Opposite – Phoniness; hypocrisy.
Counterfeit – Truth without love. “Getting it off the chest” for your sake.
Pistis – faithfulness.
Definition – Loyalty. Courage. To be principle-driven, committed, utterly reliable. True to one’s word.
Opposite – Opportunist. Fair-weather friend.
Counterfeit – Love without truth. Being loyal when you should be willing to confront or challenge.
Prautas – gentleness. (humility)
Definition – Self-forgetfulness.
Opposite – Superiority: self-absorbed self-aggrandizement.
Counterfeit – Inferiority: self-absorbed, self-consciousness.
Egkrateia – self-control
Definition – Ability to choose the important thing over the urgent.
Opposite – A driven, impulsive, uncontrolled person.
Counterfeit – Willpower through pride or through more “functional” idols.