Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control

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The Fruit of the Spirit gives the believer guidelines for his Christian walk. The Fruit guides us in our relationship with God, in our relationship with others, and, finally, in our relationship with ourselves, such as how we conduct ourselves and how we develop character.

Faithfulness is a characteristic that is so lacking in today’s society. People don’t care if their “word is not their bond,” and this has created an atmosphere of mistrust and doubt among people. However, faithfulness in the Greek means “being reliable, dependable, loyal, and steadfast.” Is this not how God is? Numbers 23:19 (NKJV) says, “God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” We expect God to be faithful. We expect to be able to stand on His Word and see it manifested, but can He have the same expectations of us? Since salvation, we are now the Word. The unsaved should see faithfulness magnified in our lives according to the Word. We are God’s “lively stones,” reliable, dependable, and steadfast. Our footing is secure in the Word, and we will let nothing deter us from the work of that Word.

Another attribute that can be produced by the Holy Spirit is Gentleness or Meekness. With gentleness, you choose to submit your strong will to a higher authority. You don’t seek to have your way all of the time although you know you could. You take the “high road” when necessary. Gentleness reflects your true self in a volatile situation because you are the calming factor and are not a participant in the turmoil. Your self-discipline and humility enable you to calm an angry or upset person. In all that you do, you should want to exemplify who God is as you control your attitude. David in 2 Samuel 22:36 (NKJV) proclaimed, “You (God) have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your gentleness has made me great.” He knew that God’s Word was dependable, reliable, and steadfast. Everything that God had promised David came to pass. Every word that you speak and every action that you do should be the same also. You should strive to be great to the glory of God in your home, on your job, in your community, and in your church.

Finally, the last character trait is self-control. You have control over your actions, your words, your appetites, and your passions. Very similar to gentleness, self-control is being more in control of your physical desires; whereas, gentleness is being in control of your attitude. Self-control is the antithesis to the works of the flesh in that the flesh can run wild with overindulgence. Self-control is needed to keep the body in check because you don’t want to be like “a city broken down, without walls” (Proverbs 25:28). We need the Holy Spirit working in our lives to achieve this trait.

If you notice, the word “works” is plural in speaking of the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit is singular. God emphasizes unity in all parts of our being as we grow in Him. Some of His graces may appear before others but they will come to fruition; for as a child grows, he develops according to his nourishment. Good nourishment equals good growth. We must feed our spirits on the Word of God if we want to produce the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives. It can’t be hit or miss but consistent in our study of the Word or we’ll be malformed and disjointed in our spiritual development, in a word–unfruitful.

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