Galatians 5:16-26 (NKJV)
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another , so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissentions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
God gives us many gifts but the most important gifts, given to us by the Holy Spirit, are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the kinds of gifts that can change the world for the better. God gave us the means and capacity to give and receive and share these gifts freely. We know deep in our hearts that if we really wish to change the world for the better, we have to start with changing within ourselves and start sharing the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
It may sound weird this way, but think about it– just apply common sense. Wouldn’t the world be better with more love spread around? Wouldn’t our relationships feel stronger if we invested more love, kindness, patience, joy, peace, and gentleness and self-control? And wouldn’t our relations just overall be so much more fulfilling if we restrained our wrath and rage and anger and approached each other with patience and kindness and self-control?
But what stops us from being better people? What prevents us from loving our neighbors and being kinder, gentler, and more good overall? We allow our passions and personal desires to get ahead of us. We sometimes allow greed to get the better of us. Or we grow jealous of those that seem to have everything handed to them on a silver platter and we are left wondering why we are left behind. Maybe we have grown up in an environment where it is far more easier to hate and despise what we don’t understand or those that are too different from us to have patience or to show kindness or to engage with a sense of love for others.
When we let the Holy Spirit in our hearts, change is possible. Good is possible. Love is possible. Kindness and patience and joy and peace is possible. We have to be willing to open our hearts and minds and spirits to change.
And if we can change inside and be more loving and caring and compassionate and peace-making and joy-giving… then we are fulfilling God’s will. And if we are in the Spirit and we are walking the walk and not just talking the talk, then we are not bound by the law… we are fulfilling the greatest commandments ever– to love God and to love our neighbors and to love our enemies.