We began the series on the fruit of the Spirit; to be specific, the 9 fruit of the Spirit: significance in the singular.
All 9 are the communicable attributes of God. The attributes / character traits of Him we can partake/ grow. (The incommunicable attributes are traits only God has-eternal, all knowing, all powerful, etc.)
Love: 1 John 4:7-21.
- Definition: putting the interest and needs of others above your own with no regard for personal gain.
- Opposite: self preservation, selfish ambition, and thinking about the self.
Q: What’s fear got to do with it?
A: Fear drives self preservation. It’s rooted in punishment. Ie. “If I do good, I will avoid the bad.” It is arranged to dodge punishment.
The trend: the more fear of rejection/ failure, the more you’re likely to be rejected/ fail.
Fear keeps one from accepting the love you’re called to receive because you place yourself where you’re unable to take it because the-fear-of-suffering.
If you cannot receive love, how will you give it? Ie. “The more fear you have about an apocalypse, the less you think about the lives that have been lost/ hurt.”
- Counterfeit: It takes the appearance of the fruit and masks it with its opposite. Counterfeit love is giving with strings attached.
Q: How do we identify the things we attach our strings to?
A: Pay attention to the expectations we place on the people we give our love to.
If we are not giving in love, then our expectations are very specific and hidden. Pay attention to not just expectations or people you serve, but to your reaction when those expectations are unmet.
The great enemy of love is that you can easily see the speck in your brother’s eye, but not the log in your own.
Fruit of the Spirit is a 9-fold. Not only do we need to grow in love, but also in humility.
Counterfeit love creates two kinds of people: the (1.) martyr and the (2.) hypocrite. The martyr loves, but holds their love back from growing in the ways they need. The hypocrite takes their mistakes and mistakes them for holiness.
Practice makes perfect.
Perfect practice makes perfect.
If you have bad habits, it reinforces bad habits. If you cannot identify the counterfeit fruit in your life, it will reinforce selfishness, pride, etc.
You are what you love, how you love.