A few times before, I have been asked if I wanted God to give me some of the gifts of the spirit; (i.e. praying in tongues) and while I have always thought that the gifts of the spirit are a good thing, I have come to the conclusion that there is something that I want more; that is, the fruits of the spirit. While it is great to have these amazing gifts, I think that getting the fruits of the spirit is the thing that will help anyone more than anything else to serve God effectively, so now the main thing that I ask God to give me every day is the fruits of the spirit. Firstly, in case you don’t know them, then below are what the Bible calls the fruits of the spirit.
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
Paul talks about these in Galatians 5; verses 19-26 read: “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 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. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” In a sentence, these seven verses are a basic guide to how we should live.
From reading these it is fairly obvious why I would want to have them; after all they are quite simply good character traits, which would help anyone to become a better person. The main reason for me personally, is that I want to be a missionary in the future, and a good missionary would have all those traits, and there’s only so far praying in a different language will get you, unless of course, you are working in that country! (I must make it clear though, that I am not against praying in tongues or similar gifts, in any way, shape or form, I am just using it to illustrate my points)
One last thought I would give: Many of us say we are trying to become, “More like Jesus,” and Jesus had every single one of those characteristics, so if we are trying to become more like Jesus, then the fruits of the spirit aren’t a bad place to start!