This image may be familiar to you. It’s taken from Galatians 5:22–23 (NASB):
You may notice that there’s a small typo in this image – it should say “fruit” of the Spirit (singular), rather than “fruits” (plural). If you don’t believe me, then check your Bible!
Anyway, I digress.
I was feeling a little scattered earlier today, and decided to do a simple exercise in order to settle my mind. I wanted to share it with you here, in hopes that it may be able to help someone who is feeling a bit anxious:
- I looked at the image, and started with the first attribute that caught my eye: love.
- I then took a few minutes to remember the last time that I felt love toward someone, or felt loved by someone. I carefully reviewed these memories, offered thanksgiving to God for them, and then mentally stored these experiences away for another time.
- I then proceeded to the next attribute on the image. When I got stuck – and I couldn’t recollect a specific example from my own life – I thought of others around me who modeled these attributes well. I then took a moment to thank God for these people in my life, as well as for the lessons I’ve been able to learn from them.
As I made my way through the fruit of the Spirit, I noticed that my mind felt more peaceful at the end of the exercise than it did at the beginning. This is a simple meditation that I can follow whenever anxiety begins to stir within me – it seems to have a calming effect.
Remarkably, it is only due to the Spirit of God in me that I’m able to recognize these qualities in myself and in others. I am grateful today (and always) for the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, as these attributes should attest to His ongoing leadership and guidance in my life.
Here is my prayer for today: Thank You, Holy Spirit, for Your miraculous and transforming presence in my life! Continue to transform me so that this fruit becomes increasingly evident within me, and I have an even greater capacity to recognize these qualities in those around me, too.
Finally, help me to remember that the fruit of the Spirit is the ultimate antidote to anxiety. If I can focus my mind and energy on these attributes, then worry will invariably cease – perhaps not right away, but it will go away over time. Thank You for Your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These qualities enable me to make better decisions, because they come from You. In Your name I pray, Amen.