Galatians 5:22 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control... (NASB)
Doctors and nutritionists constantly tell us that we need to include more fruit in our diets. That's because fruit has many healthy benefits. They are full of vitamins, anti-oxidants, and fiber. Plus, they just taste good. A variety of fruits help the body fight off infections, disease, and clean out the system. Fruits help us maintain healthy bodies which in turn leads to a more fulfilled life. In similar fashion, Paul describes a fruit that will provide nutrition and healing for our souls.
In the verses before v. 22, Paul lists several ailments that are derived from living an ungodly (unhealthy) life: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, and carousing (vv. 19, 20). These ailments cause great havoc in the lives of many people. If not attended to, these ailments will eventually cause the (spiritual) death of the person.
However, Paul gives us the remedy for such ailments in v. 22. That remedy is the "fruit of the Spirit." This fruit is the treatment for such ailments. It is not a quick fix after a weekend of debauchery, but a lifelong remedy that is incorporated into the lifestyle of a believer. The fruit is multifaceted and combats the ailments that Paul discussed in the previous verses. The remedy to these ailments provided by the fruit is as follows:
(6tbs) love - self-sacrificing affection for others;
(4tbs) joy - deep seated gladness regardless of circumstances;
(4tbs) peace - inner quietness and repose regardless of circumstances;
(4.5tbs) patience - forbearance even under provocation;
(4tbs) kindness - benevolence and graciousness;
(5tbs) goodness - constructive action reaching out to others;
(5tbs) faithfulness - reliability, trustworthiness;
(4tbs) gentleness - acquiescence to authority and consideration of others;
(5.5tbs) self-control - ability to master oneself. (from Dr. Constable's notes).
This remedy is provided by the ultimate healer and doctor, Christ Jesus, to those who believe in Him. Partake of the fruit which is provided for you through faith in Jesus. Remedy those ailments that beset you and cause so much turmoil. The fruit is available; just open yourself to the Great Physician. One dose of this fruit is enough for a lifetime of good healthy living.
What ailments have befallen you? How did they come about? Have you accepted the remedy? How have you shown love, joy, peace, etc. recently? Do people recognize the fruit in your life? If not, how could this be changed? If so, continue to pray that God would strengthen you.