The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
— Galatians 5:22-23
The apostle Paul teaches the Galatian believers to “walk by the Spirit,” be “led by the Spirit,” and “keep in step with the Spirit.”
Though I have never been in a marching band, I am always impressed by how a marching band keeps in step. The players’ steps are orderly and coordinated, and they keep both the music and the band moving forward.
Paul warns about what happens when our steps in life are not in coordination with the Spirit. There is immorality, impurity, conflict, selfish ambition, jealousy, discord, rage, and more. That is a dangerous place to be, and if we live that way, we will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Being in step with the Spirit, however, produces “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Life in Christ is designed to be harmonious. It involves a community loving and serving each other, just as the Trinity—God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—love each other.
These verses can serve as a litmus test of your own life. Do you exhibit selfishness, pride, and conflict? Or do you live with love, goodness, and self-control? How about the community you are a part of? If any of you are out of step with the Spirit, be sure to humble yourselves and be led by the Spirit.
Triune God, help me to love and serve you and my neighbors, including my enemies. Let my life shine as an example of your love. Amen.