How to use your Fruit of the Spirit

another week of shock

This week I was dealt another shock announcement.  I drove home from nursery to more film cameras on my estate, voicemail messages from ITV and a confused look on my face.  Four hours later I had a hand delivered letter in my letterbox and a radio presenter on my doorstep.  HS2 had decided to try and bribe some good press out of us by offering us £30k to stay on a doomed estate.  An offer which would have to come off the price of our house if we did eventually have to sell to them.  So effectively a non-offer.  And it made me sooo angry.  But then I started to think, how would God want me to react?

using our fruit of the spirit

Over the last 8 months I have been studying the fruit of the spirit, one verse a week, through my mummy meditations method.  It has really deepened my understanding of what these gifts are,  why they are important, how we can develop them and that a lot of the time we can make a choice to grow in them or not.  This got me to thinking about whether I could use them in deciding how to react to this news.  We cannot control life and what happens to us, but we can definitely control how we react to it.  Our reactions, if guided by the Holy Spirit, can show a difference in us and point others to Jesus.

I sat down and worked through each fruit, carefully considering if my reaction to this news displayed that to others:

  • LOVE – Did my reaction show love to those on my estate and to those who don’t deserve it?
  • JOY – Did my reaction show that actually it doesn’t matter what happens here on earth as my treasure is in heaven?  Did my reaction show that my life is full of joy regardless of my circumstances?
  • PEACE – Did I react in an argumentative way or did I try to be a peace maker in my community?  Did my reaction show that my ultimate peace comes from God?
  • PATIENCE – Did I show patience with those delivering the news?  Did I rush to a conclusion or did I wait and gather all the information before reacting?
  • KINDNESS – Did my reaction show unusual kindness to those caught in the crossfire?  Did I not only seek to be kind to those affected, but also those delivering the news?
  • GOODNESS – Did I seek to keep my own morals and beliefs in the midst of this news? Did I act in a good way?
  • GENTLENESS – Did I sit and listen to how others felt and address their concerns with gentleness?  Did I accept that others might deal with it in a different way?  Were my words gentle when dealing with the media or news bearer?
  • FAITHFULNESS – Did I trust that no matter what the news was, my God is still there for me?  Did I cling to God in the midst of this news and show others that He is my rock?
  • SELF-CONTROL – Did I stop myself from reacting in an angry or bad way?  Did I control my emotions and instead listen to the facts?
how has this helped me?

Thinking through this list really helped me not to over-react or react in a way that I would regret, but to focus on God and how He is there for me whatever happens.  By doing this I was able to rise above the emotion of the day and choose to rest in the Spirit, something which I wasn’t able to do when I first heard news of HS2 coming through our estate.

I believe that God leads us to study things at exactly the right time, and I am so grateful for him drawing me into the Fruit of the Spirit.  Not only has is made me thirst for a closer relationship with him so that I can grow in them more and more, but it has shown me that they are deeper and more astounding that just the simple words we read.  It has also given me a practical framework to think through whenever I get news or changes to my life.  Thank you Lord.

4 thoughts on “How to use your Fruit of the Spirit

  1. Naomi says:

    I love your practical framework! That’s such a great way to apply the fruits of the Spirit. But I’m so sorry that you continue to be treated this way by HS2, it’s such a difficult situation to be in. But I can see – as you’ve written about so many times – that you are really showing grace and the fruits of the Spirit there. Thank you so much for sharing this, I’m definitely going to use this method.

    • Rachel Ridler says:

      Thanks Naomi – I know my questions aren’t perfect, but even just thinking a little in this way has helped me to consider my reactions more and seek a more spiritually mature response to the things thrown at me. It is definitely still an emotional minefield (and one which we will hopefully be able to move away from in the next year all being well) but I know God is with me in it. x

  2. Becky says:

    I saw it on the news – so tough for you all – proud you are blogging and sharing your faith through it but it’s ok to be p..d off too 🙃

    • Rachel Ridler says:

      Thanks Becky – I am a big mix of emotions over it all! But trying hard to see the positive and cling to God through it all

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