Galatians 5:19-21 tells us, "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of heaven."
In other words, if you have accepted Jesus into your life as your Lord and savior, you are not to continue in your old ways. Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us, "... let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and run with perseverance the race marked out for us." What does that mean exactly? It means what it says. It means to let go of your past life when you turn to Christ, but give God room to use your past to teach you lessons for your future.
So how do we apply the Fruit of our Spirit to our lives? For years, I have always had difficulty when someone would tell me to use the Fruit of the Spirit. I couldn't wrap my mind around how to use them in my own life. There is no specific way to apply them to your life, each person will have a different way to apply it in their lives, but let me tell you what helped me begin to use the Fruit of the Spirit - and when I began to recognize that I was using it.
Love. I couldn't figure out how to apply that. So I tried this. When a family member or friend or whomever appeared to be down, or looked like they needed to be reminded of love - that I love them and that God loves them regardless of what has occurred in their lives, I would try to comfort them, by reminding people that I sincerely love them. Now, when I try to tell friends this, they tend to take it the wrong way. But you may not have that issue.
Joy. How do you have Joy in your life? There's a myriad of ways to apply this to your life. I obtain joy just by reading my Bible. By using patience, love, gentleness, self-control, I become joyful. If walking the dog brings joy into your life, then walk the dog. If reading your Bible brings you joy, read your bible. If singing songs brings you joy, then sing songs. Do whatever makes you happy - as long as it is good according to God.
Peace. Most find this hard to obtain. People have trouble with Peace. For one, our world is not at peace. Our lives are usually in a storm. For myself, I cannot find peace. I cannot apply peace to my life on my own. So, how do I bring peace into my life? I pray that God will bring it into my life. Every time I pray that - he does. Pray to God for peace, because man himself cannot apply peace without God. All of the fruit of the spirit come from God.
Patience. Something most people are not willing to use in the business of our lives. I always pray that God gives me patience in everything that I do. I pray this: "Dear Heavenly Father, let me be slow to anger and quick to love, and fill me with patience so that I may not get angry." Every time I pray this, it works.
Kindness. How do you show kindness? Kindness can be shown in little ways, and soon you will become accustomed to showing kindness and use it in your everyday lives. Open the door for someone, carry their books, give them a hug when they need it, help people in whatever way you can.
Gentleness. How can you be gentle? Gentleness is a value and quality in someone's character. How can you show gentleness? Be a model for others, show in your lives that you are Christian - sh0w the fruits of your works.
Faithfulness. Sort of speaks for itself. Be faithful to God - turn from your old ways, and follow him, go wherever he asks you to go, do whatever he may ask you to do. I assure you, it will be worth it.
Self-Control. The big one: How do you control yourself? This one always got me. So, I pray that God will give me self control in everything that I do, that he gives me the strength, wisdom, and confidence in everything I do, and that I can live for him, and that the Holy Spirit will work in and through me.
God Bless, and Take Care. Troy Hillman