By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 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 be guided by the Spirit.
We are encouraged through Scripture to be fruitful - from the well known "be fruitful and multiply" command in the Creation Myth of Genesis, to Jesus talking about being known by our fruit. The image of bearing fruit and being fruitful is an often visited one within our traditions.
But more often than not we think we have to work harder to be fruitful. Somehow putting more effort in will make us more 'fruitful'.
But we are also reminded repeatedly that the work of growth, the work of bringing to fruition, is ultimately not up to the one who plants, or to the plant itself. It is the work of God in nature - the sun and rain, the soil and the air.
Likewise, trying to be 'better', trying to be 'more loving', though still things to aim at, may ultimately be about letting the Spirit live and grow in us, that the Spirit of God does the work in partnership with us. That the Fruit of the Spirit is ultimately the result of the Spirit growing, blooming, and fruiting within us.
Maybe the important thing is for us not to try harder to love, but to allow love to grow in us, to allow the Divine water and nurture the Spirit of Love within us and to pay attention to the love that seeks to grow within us.
flows like a stream
into the ocean of your Grace.
encircles this world,
displays your faithfulness.
is patient and kind,
brings wholeness and true peace.
is all we desire
to heal our brokenness.
As all things pass
and fade away