Category Archives: fruit of the Spirit

The bravery of faithfulness

I think the lady in this quote puts her finger on something very important.

“I’m a thirty-something with two kids living a more or less ordinary life. And what I’m slowly realising is that, for me, being in the house all day with a baby and a two-year old is a lot more scary and a lot harder than being in a war-torn African village. What I need courage for is the ordinary, the daily every-dayness of life. Caring for a homeless kid is a lot more thrilling to me than listening well to the people in my home. Giving away clothes and seeking out edgy Christian communities requires less of me than being kind to my husband on the average Wednesday morning or calling my mother back when I don’t feel like it…

…I’ve come to the point where I’m not sure anymore just what God counts as radical. And I suspect that for me, getting up and doing the dishes when I’m short on sleep and patience is far more costly and necessitates more of a revolution in my heart than some of the more outwardly risky ways I’ve lived in the past. And so this is what I need now: the courage to face an ordinary day – an afternoon with a colicky baby where I’m probably going to snap at my two-year old and get annoyed with my noisy neighbour – without despair, the bravery it takes to believe that a small life is still a meaningful life, and the grace to know that even when I’ve done nothing that is powerful or bold or even interesting that the Lord notices me… and that that is enough” (quoted in Ordinary, by Michael Horton, p.15 & 20)

I know we’re not all mothers, but we all have large parts of our day which are very ordinary, and it’s in our handling of those large chunks, day in, day out, that the battle for godliness is fought. “The fruit of the Spirit is… faithfulness” (Gal 5:22).

Confession of sin – the fruit of the Spirit

Some of you have asked for the words for this confession of sin that we used recently in church. Here it is:

The fruit of the Spirit is love,

But we have loved darkness rather than light,

and loved you too little and ourselves too much.

 

The fruit of the Spirit is joy,

But we have been sour, and bitter,

and the joy of the LORD has been absent.

 

The fruit of the Spirit is peace,

But we have fretted and worried.

We have forgotten the finished work of Christ and doubted your fatherly care.

 

The fruit of the Spirit is patience,

But we have snapped at others, and questioned your wise timing.

 

The fruit of the Spirit is kindness,

But we have been harsh, cutting, and biting,

So unlike our Lord Jesus Christ, who prayed for his persecutors.

 

The fruit of the Spirit is goodness,

But we have often chosen the passing pleasures of sin, over your good laws.

 

The fruit of the Spirit is faithfulness,

But we have been unreliable; we have let others down, and not taken our baptismal vows and marriage vows seriously.

 

The fruit of the Spirit is gentleness,

But we have been unwilling to yield, and stiff-necked

 

The fruit of the Spirit is self-control,

But our wills have been weak, and our own sinful desires have got the better of us.

 

Lord, please show us your mercy.

Lord, have mercy on us

in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.