When I commented on a post earlier today it made me realize a few things about what I said and it also made me see how much I had changed over the last few years.
I honor people not because they deserve it; I honor people because I’m honorable.
I got to thinking about this statement and what it was really saying. It said, I’m honorable, and can now extend honor because of it. Hmmm
I also thought of loving my neighbors as I love myself. We all know this is one of the major commands of Jesus – Love God and love your neighbor, as you love yourself. But what if I don’t love my neighbor? What if I don’t even like my neighbor? If I find it this command impossible to do, the lack is mine, not theirs.
If I take the honor principle above and apply it to loving my neighbors it must mean that if I don’t love them it’s because I don’t love me – and I can’t give what I don’t have. That being the case, I should back up and find out why I can’t love them. Obviously, there is something that feels unworthy of love in me. This is what needs dealing with before I can love them.
Love is a Fruit of the Spirit and is something that takes a time to grow. If there is no love growing, I need to find out why and get healed.
Walking in the Fruit of the Spirit is healing and allows the (Holy) Spirit to do a work in me. It usually doesn’t happen overnight, it’s often a process. The Spirit will send in others to walk alongside to help you with getting healed. Sometimes it’s a full-on healing session but other times it’s more talking about and processing things to see them in a new light over a conversation, in the midst of a relationship/friendship.
Fruit takes time; it doesn’t simply appear on the branches. Flowers have to come forth and they have to be pollinated before any fruit will set. After that, the fruit will begin to grow but will still have to weather storms and hang on to that branch for what may seem like a long time before the fruit is ready to harvest. Once the fruit is harvested I now have something I can give away – I can now extend love or peace, for example.
Then I get to grow more fruit.
It works this way with all the Fruit of the Spirit. When I find that I’m being impatient and letting situations frustrate me, I’ve prematurely gotten knocked off that tree branch! The fruit of patience wasn’t fully developed in me.
The more I get healed, the more I learn about my identity – my true identity. When I feel unworthy of love because of something in my past that either I did or someone did to me I really can’t love anyone else because I don’t have any to give. But when I get all that stuff healed and dealt with, I have room in my heart to love others the way they deserve to be loved.
I’m not fruitful in all areas of my life but I have come a long way. You too can measure your own progress simply looking at how you love people who are not like you or how you honor people. This was a little eye-opening to me. I realized the places I couldn’t “do” something were the places I needed to improve on in myself. (Or get healed)
As I begin to walk more and more in my true identity I can become an honorable person, full of love and happiness. It’s a process but progress is good!
We honor because we are honorable
We extend love because we are loved
We cry because we now can see the broken ones
We laugh because we have joy
We are kind because we know what mean-spiritedness is
We treat people and situations with gentleness because we have peace
We sing because He sings over us
We give hope to the hopeless because He gave it to us first
We are patient because we trust in Him
We are peacemakers because we have the Prince of Peace living in us
We are alive because He lives
The Fruit of the Spirit is – unconditional love, joy, peace, patience, kindheartedness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.