People have forgotten the fruits of the spirit. They are found in the Bible and not just a list of “good boy” attributes. They are a guide to becoming a complete and mature man/woman.
- LOVE – self sacrifical love, not selfish love. True love isn’t an emotion, it’s a commitment. You don’t love your children only when they behave, and you don’t love your spouse, family and friends only as long as they are doing their part. You love them because you promised to.
- JOY – not the same thing as happiness. Joy is internal contentment that colors your entire life, both bad and good. A man who has internal joy can endure even the worst circumstances. It’s not based on outside conditions that you hope turn in your favor, but it is your own responsibility to create it. It doesn’t come from pleasure, entertainment or fun seeking. Those always inevitably lead to aimless living and depression.
- PEACE – not anxious or fearful, but learning to let go. Also know when to fight for peace, and how to maintain and refresh it. Not the same thing as running from or avoiding conflict. “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
- LONGSUFFERING – accpting of what you can’t control, and taking responsibility for what you can. It’s putting other needs before your own. Sometimes your pride and comfort is what needs to take the hit for the good of others.
- KINDNESS – it is the golden rule, because it’s a universal truth. Your life and your world become a better place when you treat others as you would like to be treated.
- GOODNESS – know that there is such a thing as good and evil, and you have the capacity to do both. You can’t be good until you acknowledge that you can do great harm, and choose to do good instead.
- FAITHFULNESS – be both trustworthy and trusting. This is the exact opposite of being codependent. Nobody wants somebody who is needy and clingy, but everybody values a person who doesn’t need others, but reaches out anyway.
- MEEKNESS – this is often confused for gentleness. The true definition is strong but under control. Have a sword but keep it sheathed. Weak men complain about how women pursue ‘alpha’ males. That’s because like it or not, women desire security, whether it’s conscious or unconscious. A weak man poses a threat to no one and thinks he is doing the world a favor. Jesus said “the meek shall inherit the earth” for a reason.
- TEMPERANCE – have self control. A man who knows his weaknesses, acknowledges them, and refuses to run from confronting them brings value to himself, his family, his work and the whole world.
Featured image by @withmercii