Last week, I talked about the Fruit of the Spirit and how our lives should reflect them. As a reminder, they are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.
This week, we are going to see how they relate to our freedom.
As we put the letters spelling FREEDOM together, you will see that to fully live in freedom and experience these characteristics in our daily lives, we need to do the following:
F - Forgive
Forgive others without exception and mean it. You cannot feel good about yourself when you feel poorly towards others. Become a perpetual forgiveness machine! Make it part of your daily routine!
R - Root of your fruit?
Taste and see that the Lord is good. ~ Psalms 34:8
When people encounter me and represent Jesus, do they leave with a sweet taste, or do they leave with a bitter/sour taste?
What is the root of my fruit? Is it the Holy Spirit that is sweet, or is it the root of anger, frustration, hatred, and resentment?
So do people feel like they’ve tasted sweet fruit when they’ve had an encounter with me, or do they feel like they’ve just had lemons?
E - Eliminate negative talk
Both life and death are in the power of the tongue ~ Proverbs 18:21
The words you mutter to yourself have the ability to encourage or discourage, to generate joy or repel it. Speak only what you seek.
E - Extreme self-care
Mind, spirit & body. ● Am I investing time alone with God each day? ● Am I exercising in some way almost every day? ● Am I getting sufficient sleep most nights? ● Do I have at least three close personal relationships?
D - Dwell on who God wants you to become
Honor & acknowledge in others the qualities that you want to realize in your own life. Meditate frequently on the character qualities that you believe God wants to see in you.
O- Own the joy now Joy is proactive happiness. It is the learned capacity to display your faith ahead of time by means of your daily mental attitude. This separates us as men and women of faith from everyone else.
M- Me Spiritual breakthrough always starts with me. I have to change. I have to do the work.
You may be fighting to get your joy back and get rid of negative thinking.
You can begin by asking yourself these five questions:
What are the five things I am thankful for right now?
What are five of my strengths or positive traits?
What are five of my best achievements so far?
Who are the five people who love me the most?
What five things am I looking forward to in the next seven days?
All of this may seem like a lot to take in, and sometimes it looks like we have a long way to go, but when we just take the first step, we get closer to what God has for us, and that is all He asks of us! You don’t have to feel overwhelmed. It’s one day at a time, one step at a time, one conversation at a time, and one decision at a time. God will take care of the rest!