The world tells us to indulge ourselves in whatever we want. Whatever makes us happy. To live for self. To say whatever we want…even if it’s hurtful. And we better not stand for anything in the Bible because it will offend folks. And if we do, we could be considered a terrible person.
The problem for Christians is that the Bible says something very different. From front to back it’s very clear. We are to: 1) serve and love God and others, and 2) walk by the Holy Spirit.
Verse 13 starts off talking about living by the Spirit instead of living by the flesh. To actually serve and love one another humbly instead of us; that there’s freedom in serving God and others, and that there’s actually bondage in serving ourself.
Verses 14-15 says that when we don’t walk by the Spirit and love others, that there are consequences. We “bite and devour each other, we destroy each other.” It shows itself with the loss of unity. We may become critical, or stop looking for good, or seem to see only people’s faults. It may show itself in talking negative behind people’s back or focusing on someone’s short comings instead of their strengths.
Verse 16 says to STOP doing this. Stop “gratifying the sinful nature” and instead,“ walk by the Spirit.” Walking by the Spirit means to yield to God’s control, follow God’s lead, and allow God to exert influence over us. It creates a desire to hear, listen, obey and do what God’s Word says. Walking by the Spirit helps us love and serve God and others
Verses 22-23 show us the results and fruit of walking by the Spirit. The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. It says that we get these character traits. When the Spirit controls us, the fruits of the Spirit flows out of us naturally…It grows in us.
May we each show the fruit of the spirit in our lives.