Probably the most memorable verses in Galatians are those list the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23). The fruit grows from planted seeds. Every Leader should embrace this marvelous list of inward qualities. There are different leadership styles but only the style that aligns with the style of Jesus which manifests through the fruit of the spirit matters. In this post, I give you the opportunity to evaluate your leadership style against the fruit of the Spirit.
1. Love: As a Fruit of the Spirit
“agape” is the Greek team used in place of love. It means love that seeks the highest possible welfare of others, (John 15:12-14). Not just emotions or feelings. It’s a decision to commit to the well-being of others, unconditionally. Is my leadership motivated by love for people? (1 Corinthians 16:14)
2. Joy: As a Fruit of the Spirit
“chara” is the Greek term used in place of joy. It means gladness, delight, and a special presence of God. This is not happiness based on circumstances. It’s obtained by doing the will of God. Like sharing the gospel, and fellowship with others. Do I exhibit an unshakable joy, regardless of life’s circumstances? (2 Corinthians 6:10, 1 Peter 1:8-9)
3. Peace: As a Fruit of the Spirit
“eirene” is the Greek term used in place of peace. It means peace between individuals, harmony, and unity as well as peace of mind, (Philippians 4:7). It manifests through the state of assurance, a lack of fear provided only by God, and unity between believers, freedom from worry and oppressive thoughts. Do people see my peace and take courage? (Acts 27:33-36)
4. Patience: As a fruit of the Spirit
“makrothumia” is the Greek term used in place of patience. It means to endure hardships without complaining, (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15). It’s the reason why some translations use “Long Suffering” instead of patience. It manifests through slowness in avenging wrongs. It’s the quality that keeps the leader from responding to negative situations out of hatred and anger etc. do I wait patiently for results as I develop people or goals? (Acts 15:36-41)
5. Kindness: As a fruit of the Spirit
“chrestotes” is the Greek term used in place of kindness. It means merciful, easy to bear, morally good, (Proverbs 11:16-17), and upright. It manifests through an eagerness to put others at ease. A sweet and attractive temperament that shows friendly regard. Am I caring and understanding toward everyone I meet? (1 Corinthians 4:14)
6. Goodness: As a fruit of the Spirit
The Greek term “agathosune” used here means useful and generous. It manifests through a selfless desire to open one’s self and be generous to others even if they don’t deserve it. Do I want the best for others and the organization? (Acts 27:9-11, Titus 3:8)
7. Faithfulness: As a fruit of the Spirit
The Greek term “pistis” used here means trust and conviction. Do I keep my commitments? It manifests through a firm devotion to God, loyalty to friends, discharging responsibilities properly, and the belief that Jesus died for our sins. (Matthew 25:21; 2 Timothy 4:7)
8. Gentleness: As a fruit of the Spirit
The Greek term “prautes” used here means being in control of one’s self. It manifests through a humble nonthreatening demeanor that derives from a position of strength and authority, and is useful in calming another’s anger. This is not being weak and passive. Is my strength under control? Can I be both tough and tender? (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8, Titus 3:2 )
9. Self Control: As a fruit of the Spirit
The Greek term “egkratea” used here means being in control of one’s self. It manifests through restraining one’s emotions, actions, and desires, and being in harmony with the will of God. Self-control is living in accord with God’s will, not living for one’s self. Am I disciplined to make progress toward my goals? (Philippians 3:13, Titus 2:11-14)
Many leaders have lived and died throughout history. Some of them were tyrants and were shunned by their subjects (Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin) while others although they were not perfect (Nelson Mandella, Mahatma Gandhi) were loved and embraced by their followers. None of them however comes even closer to Jesus. As Christian leaders, our goal should be to become like Jesus. What better way to do that than producing the fruit of the spirit in our leadership journey?
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