Have you ever sung the fruits of the Spirit song? I saw a pastor with his guitar teaching it to a bunch of children. It was nothing more than a musical listing of the fruits from Galatians 5.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Here’s how I often think about these fruits: When we have the Holy Spirit, these fruits will blossom in our life. The Spirit brings them forth.
But it is also true that these fruits are flags or signals of the work of the Holy Spirit in the world around us. Where we see peace, we can know the Holy Spirit is at work. Where generosity happens, the Spirit is there. Where there is love, the Holy Spirit lurks.
If we believe that all good is from God, then we should name God’s presence when we see the fruits of it. This is little more than spotting grace in action. As Wesleyans, we understand that grace is for all and in all. Atheists, non-Christians, and heretics all are God’s creatures. God’s grace is at work in and through them. Even if they do not know it.
The world may call it “random acts of kindness” or “the triumph of the human spirit” or something else entirely. We have a different name for it. We call it the fruit of the Spirit. It is the fingerprint of God. And we rejoice when we see it.