Yesterday we explored the Greek concept of acedia, and it’s relation to our soul. (You can read that one here if you have not read it). The antidote of acedia is the Fruit of the Spirit listed out by Paul in Galatians 5. Here is how this plays out in my life: Apart from the Spirit, I can become selfish and disengaged. With the Spirit, I am able to love fully. When acedia takes control, I can become depressed or anxious. When I walk with the Spirit, joy abounds, no matter the circumstance. Apart from the Spirit, the burning fire of worry consumes my chest and head. When I walk with the Spirit, God’s peace that passes all understanding takes control of my heart.
One of my strengths is an achiever. I love accomplishing tasks. When that is in overdrive, I tend to become impatient and hurried (especially on I-24). When I walk with the Spirit though, I am able to patiently sit with people and listen with intent. I do not know about you, but when I walk apart from the Spirit, I tend to run over people with my words, and sometimes fail to offer basic kindness. Walking with the Spirit slows down my soul to see another person, and to offer the kindness of God.
Another one of my strengths is competitiveness. When that is in overdrive, I tend to “do things for God.” I become self-righteous rather than God-righteous. However, walking with the Spirit brings me into communion with God. What flows out of communion with God is goodness because God is good. Sometimes I can be harsh and judgmental apart from the Spirit. Walking with the Spirit allows gentleness to take hold of my soul. Finally apart from the Spirit, I seek to gratify my own desires and seek my own pleasure, even destructive pleasure. Walking with the Spirit though allows self-control to discipline my body, soul, and mind. No wonder Paul writes “Let us keep in step with the Spirit!”