- Henry Prater
The World Needs the Fruit of the Spirit
Like many of you, Kellie and I are starting to go back to more restaurants, stores, and businesses. At quite a few of these, I have noticed a recurring sign in the window, along with the normal ones stating the hours and mask policy. It will say something to the effect of “please be kind (or patient) as we are dealing with understaffing.” I have heard conversations about the differing reasons that account for the shortage of workers, but there is a different aspect of that I want to think about today that presents us with an opportunity. It is the fact that this sign is asking for people to be patient and kind. Store after store has this.
It makes sense in a way. As a world, we have been dealing with situations that have not been dealt with in our lifetimes. We are stressed and anxious. When so much seems out of control, we really want the small things to go right; when they do not, it is easy to lash out.
That is why it is critical in times like this for us to let God’s Holy Spirit move in us and through us. When I pondered over those signs, I could not help but be reminded of the Fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 tell us, “ But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” In a world where these attributes seem to be in short supply, what a great opportunity for us to ask Christ Jesus to work in us in such a way that these would flow out of us. We do not need a special occasion for this; any trip to the grocery store, dry cleaner, or fast food restaurant gives us the chance to show God’s kindness, patience, and self-control to all of the people around us.
Edgemont, let us take this opportunity to pursue these gifts of the Spirit in our lives and use them to enrich the lives of the people who are around us. We may never know the difference that a kind word or a gentle moment can make to someone who is struggling today.
Wherever you may be headed this week, I invite you to use this prayer: Loving God, fill me with your Spirit now, so that I may show your gifts and others will be lifted up. Help me to be a vessel that the Holy Spirit will shine through. Amen.