We discussed several weeks ago four characteristics in scripture that have been shown in the scientific literature to improve wellbeing: hope, empathy, gratitude and forgiveness. This last week we spoke about the importance of the Holy Spirit as a key link, along with the 5 tools to maturity (see prior blogs), in allowing God’s influence in our lives which leads to enhanced wellbeing.
Besides the characteristics mentioned above, what other helpful attributes can we realize in our Christian lives? Many scriptures detail be helpful attributes God desires us to have. One of the most important is stated in Galatians 5:22-23 which details the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
As they are a fruit of the Spirit how can they be gained? Last week we learned that in general there are three roles in the Christian’s relationship with the Spirit. These roles can be used to gain the 9 attributes of the fruit of the Spirit as well as other godly characteristics that can improve our lives. Let’s apply these three principles in regard to the fruit of the Spirit.
Non-variable actions of the Spirit: A Christian should first realize they possess the Holy Spirit permanently: He dwells inside them with all of His available power (Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5); and the Spirit is our seal (guarantee) of salvation and cannot be removed (Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30).
Variable actions of Christians: It is only the believer themselves who can limit the action of the Spirit in their lives. Therefore we are told to “walk” (i.e., lifestyle) in the Spirit and become mature in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18). We do this by being obedient and seeking the attributes of God through scripture.
Variable actions of the Spirit: If allowed, the Spirit through the word of God can empower our lives, put to death the deeds of the flesh, and lead and comfort us (Romans 8:13-16), changes us (2 Corinthians 3:18) and helps produce in us the 9 fruits of the Spirit. Not only may these characteristics contribute potentially to better wellbeing personally, but their presence is a measure of our maturity as a believer.
That’s all for now. Thank you for joining me. Next week we will discuss how a Christian, having gained better wellbeing themselves, can also enhance the wellbeing of their family, friends and colleagues. See you next week!