Friday, February 23, 2007

Fruit of the Spirit Inventory

In this blog, along with personal thinking, I want to include some of the ways I have been "healing"myself over these years. I think this inventory that I try to take yearly is a good place to start this blog. It was produced for a Bible study several years ago. I have taken it six times, the last time this last week. I won't give my results; that seems to be more personal than I want to be here. However, I can say I have improved each year but one. Every time I take it, I am sobered all over again at how far I have to go.

So that the yearly results may be compared, I rate each one giving it a numerical rating, and then average the nine numbers.

(Gal 22:19-25)

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like . . . they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Above is listed the "fruit" or works of a sinful life and the fruit or "works" of living a spiritual life. Note that there are only two categories--works of the flesh and fruit of the Spirit. If we are Christians, we have the use of the Spirit in our lives. Understanding that if we are not a part of the fruit of the Spirit, we are a part of the works of the flesh, we want to be more and more a part of the fruit of the Spirit. Since we can't physically see, taste, feel, hear, or smell the Spirit, we must look for the results of the Spirit in our lives. Who are you in the Spirit? Although there is no scientific way to measure the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, we might make each of the "fruits" listed by Paul a verb and then see how much we "use" that fruit. Using that criterion, where do you stand as far as each of these "fruits" is concerned? Realizing as we do it that the fruit is ­not verbs and that a spiritual life is all of the fruit together as a whole, for each of them say to yourself, "How much of the Spirit's Love am I being in my life?" And then go to Joy. And then Peace, etc. For each fruit write a sentence as to how well you are doing. If you would like, you can rate yourself on the continuum below. You can then, a year from now (or sometime in the future), rate yourself again to see your progress.

None___A little___Some___Half-hearted___Much___Most___Totally

How much of the Spirit's ______ am I being in my life?