Fruit for Thought

19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

Galatians 5:19-26 (New Living Translation)

I’ve been able to recite the list of the fruits of the Spirit ever since I can remember.  (I think that must have been in Sunday School 101 curriculum.)  But funny (or not so funny) how difficult it is to live them.  It’s also interesting to me how well I know verses 22&23 of this passage but how much more context the surrounding scriptures give to the value of these fruits.

Got me thinking: “I wonder which one of these lists my life looks most like?”

List #1:

  • sexual immorality
  • impurity
  • lustful pleasures
  • idolatry
  • sorcery
  • hostility
  • quarreling
  • jealousy
  • outbursts of anger
  • selfish ambition
  • dissension
  • division
  • envy
  • drunkenness
  • wild parties

List #2:

  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • patience
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • faithfulness
  • gentleness
  • self-control

No public confession needed.  Just wanted to get you thinking today!

You may also like


  • lindseyreadenobles September 2, 2009  

    As an observer, yours looks more like list 2. Mine, not so sure. Thanks for getting us thinking.

  • Jason September 2, 2009  

    I don’t mind confessing right now the arrow would point quite a bit in the List 1 direction. I hate that fact but I know it to be true. I crave list 2. I want to live List 2. My flesh is fighting it every step of the way.

    I especially struggle with idolatry and envy. Usually those two lead to others in list 1.

  • Megan September 2, 2009  

    Thanks Jenni! I’m really doing some meditating on these lists and hoping to discover where I need more work!

  • Nate September 2, 2009  

    Confession: I’m a sorcerer.

    Okay, so that was line-crossing. I couldn’t resist though.

    Check out the progression. . . “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature,” these are the results.

    By implication, when you follow the Spirit. . .

    It’s not hard to produce the results in list one, just follow the desires of your sinful nature.

    But to live a list two life, perhaps we can follow the same principle. Just follow the Spirit, and he’ll fill your life with these things. Notice that they’re called “fruits of the Spirit,” and not “fruits of our labor.”

    I know, I know. . . easier said than done.

  • tam September 2, 2009  

    if im being honest…and dang it, i know i’ll be…

    the “outside” me – a bit of list #2

    the “inside” me – a lot of list #1

    its a nasty marriage of the two. which really shouldnt be. oh the battle of the flesh.

    as always…got me thinking.

  • Jenni Catron September 2, 2009  

    @tam – I agree… that inside part is the bugger 🙂

    @nate – I thought the sorcery one was funny too, but great observation of what proceeds those lists in the passage

  • Marla Saunders September 2, 2009  

    Oh Jenni. Yes, convicting. Why is it that our motives seem to trip us up so often? What people see on the outside vs. what we know on the inside. Ouch.

  • Heidi September 3, 2009  

    I am definately alot like Tam, on the outside or while doing ministry I do well in list #2, but like right now at 10:35 pm, washer just broke and I need a pair a pants for a big meeting. I am scaling down list 1.

  • Sarah September 4, 2009  

    Can I admit that I enjoy wild and drunken parties at times? What is the harm in being with a group of people that you enjoy and doing things like dancing or sing around a camp fire? I agree that anything in excess is bad, but did Jesus not create wine out of water?

    Anyway, thoughts? I do think that I need to work on being more loving, patient and kind.

  • Jenni Catron September 5, 2009  

    @sarah – I think the distinction is the definition of “wild”. I don’t think there is anything wrong with singing and dancing around the campfire but if there is too much drinking involved and judgments are impaired, then I think you start getting into trouble. I agree I don’t think wine, a drink or two is bad, but the scriptures say “be not drunk with wine”… drunk being the key word. I think it’s about moderation and good judgment.