Generous with the Fruits of the Spirit

When most people think about generosity, they focus on money and sometimes time, and I do have a lot to say about those topics. Like anyone with children, mine are still struggling with the concept of selfishness, but then again, aren’t we all?

Preacher Andy Stanley says that we will never regret giving a donation like we might an extravagant purchase. And while we need to give of our time and our finances, I have been considering other ways we can show generosity. I genuinely believe generosity is an outward sign of our gratitude to a God who we could never out bless.

At no financial costs and with very little time committed, we can be generous with the fruits of the spirit…love, joy, peace, patience (ahem), kindness, goodness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) What a beautiful display of gratitude we would provide God and His people—not to mention those who don’t know Jesus. Actually, now that I think about it, donating money may be easier than showing kindness and patience to that person who constantly undermines you with false statements to others or how about succumbing to self-control instead of responding to an ugly comment or post on social media. (For all of you without a southern grandmother, in the South, we use ‘ugly’ for mean or rude.) We are called to love all of God’s children, even the prickly ones.

We have a rule at our house: it is better to be kind than right. (Yes, it gets broken often.) But seriously, do we really think our comment on a political issue is going to change someone’s mind. When has bickering about trivial matters or even big issues every strengthened a relationship? However, a little kindness and a lot of grace could make all the difference. And really, if our most important mission is to bring people to Jesus, shouldn’t that be the only response for those that are hurting in this broken world? Wouldn’t people prefer to join us in a world of loving, kind, patient people?

Even if you aren’t a believer, (see me if you’re not), being generous with these qualities will strengthen and enhance your relationships. Oh, and by the way, don’t be surprised when you are blessed by a rich harvest of peace and joy. As with most acts of generosity, you will never regret your gift and you will be more blessed than the person who receives it. So, what’s holding us back? Let’s choose this very moment to be generous with our love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control…and change the world.

How will you be generous with the fruits of the spirit? Which one of these fruits challenges you the most?

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