With Christmas almost here, there is a lot of emphasis on gifts that will be given. But what about gifts that go beyond the visible? What about looking for ways in which you can live out the “fruit of the Spirit” with your spouse, family and others? We’re told in Galatians 5:22-23:
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.“
There is “no law” about living out the fruits of the spirit. So, what if you lived them out in your marriage and family life –at Christmas and throughout the year? Do you think your spouse would object to this gift? I sure don’t when Steve gives it to me. I think of his “forbearance” at times, and how blessed I am. Also, I think of his kindness in watching sappy Christmas movies with me. What a guy! I am blessed.
I continually remind myself that if I’m too busy to be kind, I’m too busy. It causes me to take on less, because I want to be kind to Steve and others. Gentleness is another “fruit” that I have to remind myself of, when I get impatient. “Be gentle; be kind” is a mantra I often remind myself to live out within our marriage.
It may be a difficult gift to give some of the fruits of the spirit, because it involves self-sacrifice to crush selfism. But it sure is in keeping with that which God asks of us.
“A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great” (Proverbs 18:16).
And who greater than God? And what greater gift is there to accept, than His son Jesus Christ? “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:8-10).
What about putting intentionality into sharing the “good works” of the “fruit of the Spirit” with your family and those God brings into your life? Do you think this would be a Christmas gift they would enjoy and cherish in years to come?
Yes, material gifts are nice, no doubt. But bringing “peace on earth” into your home by loving your spouse and family as God loves them is a gift that is priceless! And finding ways to spread joy to others outside of your home, whether it’s a smile, or a compliment, a helping hand, a cheerful greeting or good-bye to a clerk could brighten up their day and make this season brighter for them as well.
This last week I had the opportunity to brighten someone’s day. I found a purse that a woman had accidentally left somewhere while she was shopping. Immediately, I realized that this woman would be panicked when she discovered her loss. I found someone working at that store that appeared to be honest. I showed her what I found and eventually the lady who lost her purse was reunited with it.
Fortunately, I was able to be next to this lady when the purse was given to her again. She said this absolutely made her Christmas. It was the best gift she could be given. I smiled inside knowing I would feel the same way. An act of kindness like this would be such a relief!
Think about it. Pray about it. Make it your mission this Christmas and throughout the New Year to live Christ. Find ways to bless your spouse, family, and others around you. Share the “good works” of the fruits of the Spirit with those God brings your way. This would be a great gift for them, AND for God. This would have to please Him immensely.
May your CHRISTmas be a blessed one!
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.
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