by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; [2 corinthians 6:6]


patience, kindness, love. all of these are fruit of the Holy Spirit.

but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness, self-control…[gal 5:22–23a]


paul says that these things, being demonstrated in their lives, serve to commend their apostolic ministry to the corinthians. in other words, their embodiment of the fruit of the Spirit proves they are walking in step with the Spirit. which means, the corinthians can trust paul’s authority, believe the truth he is preaching, and know that he is seeking the glory of God in his actions.

as we think about others looking to us for example and understanding of the gospel, it’s important to see this aspect of paul’s argument for his validity. he lists fruit of the Spirit as evidence of his apostleship because it shows he truly is following the leading of the Spirit. if we want others to see us as a light of the gospel and source for discipleship then it makes sense, we would accomplish this, at least in part, by demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit in our lives just like paul.

we don’t, however, pull up our bootstraps and suddenly become more loving or show more kindness just because we decided we want to. the reason these character traits are called “fruit of the Spirit” is because they grow out of a life that is firmly rooted in the Spirit. these traits grow out of a relationship with the Holy Spirit. our lives become reflections of the character of the Spirit himself when we are found in Christ.

i encourage you today to root yourself in the Spirit. spend time in the presence of God, and ask him to remind you of his kindness, patience, and love toward you. as you grow in your understanding of the character of God, the fruit of the Spirit will manifest itself in your life as well.


and those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. if we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. [galatians 5:24–25]


~ keith kozlowski