But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
If we take a look at the list of Spiritual Fruit, it’s not just a random list of fruit. They are actually a building block for our spiritual life. First is Love, this is the seed on which everything is built. Without love, we can do nothing, 1 John 4:19 We love because he (Jesus) first loved us. We are incapable of Loving without the Love that God gave us through Jesus. Joy comes from knowing we are loved so deeply and from joy flows peace. These first three, work together to form us and gives us the ability to show forgiveness, to be kind and good to even those people who are difficult, rude, or just unpleasant, and have faith in the most difficult and painful experiences showing gentleness to everyone. All these wrapped up in self-control. This one for me proves to be challenging at times. Like many, I really struggle driving in traffic. It does not take much of others’ bad driving skills to begin to affect the way I drive. Or when there is a fresh batch of my wife’s chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven, to not go over and grab some. Like the skin on the tangerine, self-control is a protective layer for the rest of the Fruits of the Spirit. If I let temptations in, or let others control the way I respond to situations, the rest of the good stuff within me can start to dry up and affect who I am as a child of God.
The skin on the fruit is critically important, like self-control, it protects. Our self-control (skin) needs to be tough. The devil likes weak-skinned Christians, those with little self-control. So be thick skinned, but tender hearted, full of Love from which all things flow.