Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things….But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:19-21 & 22-23
Words of the flesh and fruits of the Spirit. Which of these makes the news when a public figure exhibits these? Stories of immorality, hostility, rivalries, etc are the things that make the public discourse. But when someone loves another person, is patient in line at the store, is kind to the person in need – those aren’t as “newsworthy.” They don’t drive ratings, clicks, etc. I’m waiting for some click-bait website to put up a headline “Top 10 acts of self-control by celebrities!”
The fruits of the Spirit are far from the most newsworthy but they sure are the most beautiful and the most necessary. When so much of our discourse that we witness and that we participate in is coarse, rough, self-focused, and so forth, we need to not only exhibit these fruits for ourselves but also recognize and celebrate them when we see them in others. What if we got as excited about sharing a story of someone’s goodness or kindness as we do about the latest celebrity scandal or latest bits of political drama and dysfunction?
It is like this flower – there’s a lot else in the picture but there is that one purple bloom in the midst of it all. It is easy to focus on everything else but miss the flower that is there.
So, I’ll start with a stort to share…I saw it in one of my boys today. Our oldest was pretty tired this afternoon and his younger brother volunteered to do a challenging chore because he simply wanted to do something nice for his brother.