Fruit of the Spirit
It's no accident Paul calls positive attributes, "fruit of the Spirit." Fruit is delicious, pleasing, nourishing, and can grow from a tiny seed into a satisfying meal. So can the gifts of "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." When we nurture these things, they can be pleasing, nourishing, and they grow from the tiny seeds we plant with our behaviors into grand gestures that satisfy the human heart.
As soon as we turn lists of the flesh and Spirit into should's and should not's, we become slaves to the should's. We make it all about what not to do. Not to lust. Not to be angry. Not to lie. The problem is that we become the things we focus on. If I spend my whole day trying not to be angry, then angry is what my whole day will center on. But if I focus my attentions on peace, then my whole day will be centered on peace. And on love, then love. And on kindness, then kindness. So today I will not spend my day trying not to be worried, angry, fearful. I will focus on being kind, peaceful, patient, and loving. I like this day much better already.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Galatians 5:22-26
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.