But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23 English Standard Version (ESV)
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,
Galatians 5:19-20 English Standard Version (ESV)
I always thought fruit occurred when you were a Christian and the works of the flesh happened when you didn't live for Christ. And that is certainly true.
But, today, I saw for the first time that fruit is what happens when you abide in the Vine, and the works of the flesh happens when you try to take care of things on your own.
In John 15, Jesus tells us that unless we abide in Him, we won't have any fruit. It takes hanging out with Jeus to learn patience and self-control.
If we are trying to take care of things on our own, finding our own happiness and doing what makes us FEEL good, we'll be in to all kinds of sensual things. When things don't go our way, if we are relying on ourselves, we will have fits of anger and do things that cause strife and division.
"She hurt my feelings, so I WILL get my revenge"
"He thinks he is better than me, so I WILL show him!"
"I deserve to have some fun, so I WILL do what feels good."
I, I, I.
What's really sad is when believers fall into works of the flesh because they feel offended. Instead of going to Christ and laying their hurts at the cross, they dwell on their offense. It is not long before they are falling into the works of the flesh as they handle things on their own.
Compare the qualities in your character. If they look more like fruit, good job! Continue in what your are doing. But if you see any tendencies toward works of the flesh, you need to make a change and start hanging out with Jesus.
For further enlightenment, study John 15.
This post is Day 30 of my series, 31 Basics for Believers. You can find all the posts here.