Fruits of the Spirit

When I first started art journaling in my Bible my vision was to be artistic and to gradually improve my lettering and doodling skills.  That hasn’t really happened.  I keep falling back to what’s easy and comfortable for me:  Micron pens, stickers, and colored pencils.  Not that there’s anything wrong with keeping it simple, but there’s a world of options out there that I’d still like to explore and skills that I would like to improve!

The next prompt in Writing in the Margins lists a number of memory verses to illustrate.  This first in the series is well within my comfort zone.  Net time, I will try something new!

Galations 5:22 is a verse I memorized when I was in middle school–I can still sing all the fruits of the spirit as a song.  I know that we are not to judge, but I tend to use this passage as a list of qualities that I expect to observe in anyone claiming to be a Christian (and I remain aware that these qualities could also be more abundant in my own life!)  It leaves a bad taste in my mouth when a so-called Christian hates on others and causes discord.  Jesus said, “By your fruit you will recognize them.”  Without necessarily judging, I do try to observe the fruits.

The fruits of the spirit have been written in my heart for decades and have served as a wonderful guide in life, but we live in kind of a crazy era.  As I reflected on this passage throughout the day, it occurred to me that perhaps I should also commit to memory the works of the flesh.   According to St. Paul (just for the record):  It’s “Love, joy, and peace”, but without getting drawn into sexual immorality, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, drunkenness, and orgies.  Jesus also said something about a narrow gate.  I note these, not to stand in condemnation of any person, but as a reminder of broad areas where the Holy Spirit would be unlikely to lead Christians.  There are so many people promising love, joy, and peace, and it’s easy to get confused.

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