I started praying through the Fruits of the Spirit, recently. I can’t get past love.
If you aren’t familiar with all of the Fruits on the list love is the first one. I can’t get past the first one, friends. I mean, it isn’t like it’s a competition or once you’ve prayed through them all you will find success and enlightenment. But I am pretty sure I am not succeeding at loving others very well.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.Galatians 5:22-23
I was at my local park recently where many of us walk. There was one woman who was dressed for success. She was starting her walk, maybe a run, with these ab crunches on the park bench. I, however, am pretty sure Shakira was preaching to middle-aged me when she sang about the hips don’t lie. I take my sweet time getting my laps in. Then, there is Dottie the bulldog. After about 100 feet she expects to be pulled in the wagon for the remainder of her walk. My son loved to go around and around in his wheelchair. The thing is, we are all here. We are all present. We are doing it at our own pace. But we are showing up.
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.1 Corinthians 10:24
I’ve been the friend who did not show up. I have been the woman who judges the ministry’s worthiness of my giving. I am the one who looks down her nose at each opportunity to love someone in need.
I think loving others is a little like walking at the park. Some of you do it really well and are crushing it. A few of us have been doing it a long time and are starting to feel the burn. Dottie the dog people needs friends to come along side and give a little push/pull in the love area. Sometimes this is me, I can admit. And some of us are like my son, you can spread joy and love with just a smile and wave to everyone you meet. We can all love in our own way, we just have to show up.
Colossians 3:14 says we are to put on love.
Like clothes, get up in the morning and put it on. Some days I put on my Nike shorts and a T-shirt. Other days, I give it a little more effort. Love is like that, I think. Some days I give a little more effort to wear love.
Loving others isn’t always easy.
I don’t put love on first thing in the morning every day. I wonder if this is why it is mentioned so often in the Bible? God knew we were going to need this reminder every few chapters and verses to go put on love before we mess it up for good.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.1 Corinthians 13:2
In my list of praying the Fruits of the Spirit after love comes joy. I have a feeling if I get really good at loving others, joy will come a little more easily, too. And after that, I might have a little more peace. And if I am at peace with things I get a little more patient. And when I am patient I tend to be more kind … You see where this is going?
Wearing love, it’s the first step. We start by showing up.