Practicing the Fruit of the Spirit

In her message on Patience, Kindness, and Goodness, Milissa talked about how we are invited to practice in partnership with the Holy Spirit. As we practice patience, kindness, and goodness in partnership with the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit will grow in our lives, and we will grow to look more like Christ.

Every day, each of us will face countless opportunities to demonstrate patience, kindness, and goodness. In these moments, we have the choice to either respond with patience or impatience, kindness or unkindness, or goodness or not goodness.

In light of this truth, we have a prayer practice that we want to invite you to try out. It is an adaptation of an ancient prayer practice called the Examen. Through the Examen, we are invited to prayerfully reflect on our day, inviting the Spirit to bring things to our minds. In the steps below, you can follow this prayer practice, focusing specifically on patience, kindness, and goodness (though, of course, you can focus on any of the fruits of the Spirit you want to grow in).

The Practice

Quiet.  Find a quiet space, turn off your phone, and take a few deep breaths, allowing yourself to be present.

Invite.  Invite the Holy Spirit to speak, and ask for the ears to hear.

Reflect.  Begin to reflect on your day from beginning to end. Ask God to bring to mind the moments he wants you to focus on.
•Throughout your day, what opportunities did you have to demonstrate the fruit of patience, kindness, and goodness? 
•What were the moments that you demonstrated patience, kindness, or goodness? 
•What moments did you not demonstrate patience, kindness, or goodness?

Repent.  For any of the moments in your day when you did not choose to be patient, kind, or good, confess and ask for God’s forgiveness. Know that when we confess and repent our sin to the Lord, God is faithful to forgive.

Gratitude.  Take a moment to thank God for his abundant grace and forgiveness, even in our weakness.

Ask.  As you head into the rest of your week, ask the Holy Spirit to give you greater patience, kindness, and goodness to share with those around you.
"May God fill you with the knowledge of his will thorugh all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may life a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience... "
- Colossians 1:9-11
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