As this year comes to an end and we get ready to begin a new year, many of us will make one or more New Year’s resolutions, things that we want to do (or stop doing) in the year ahead of us. We may want to lose 20 pounds. We may want to take that trip that we’ve always wanted to take. We may want to stop smoking. Whatever the resolution is, it will require some kind of work on our part or some kind of change. One of the best resolutions we can make would be to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
In Galatians 5:22, Paul tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the traits, the characteristics, that God cultivates in us through His presence in our lives. When we belong to Jesus Christ, when He is the Lord and Savior of our lives, our fleshly desires are crucified and replaced by the fruit of the Spirit. But we must work at cultivating them in our lives each day, striving to become more and more like Jesus.
So, as the new year approaches, make it a resolution to allow the fruit to be apparent in your life. Let love be evident in the way in which you relate to others. Let joy abound in you through the good days and the bad days. Let peace reign in your heart, even in difficult times. Treat those around you with patience, kindness, and goodness. Be faithful in all that you do. Let gentleness and self-control guide your heart and your behavior. When others see the fruit of the Spirit manifested in you, they will see not you, but Jesus in you. What better resolution could we make than one that will allow others to see Jesus?