“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5: 22, 23)
If the Spirit of God lives in us, when we look in we will find supernatural qualities of love, joy and peace coming out of our life. When we look around we will find supernatural qualities of patience, kindness and goodness flowing out from our inward being. The same is true when we look up. We will find a supernatural faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that are not coming from us but from the Spirit of God living in us.
Paul is writing here that we will be consistently faithful because the Spirit of God lives in us. He writes in another place that no man can say that Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). The concept of gentleness listed here is really the biblical word meekness.
When a powerful stallion is broken, when it “takes the bit” and submits to the will of the rider, you have a metaphor that describes biblical meekness. That broken stallion can be referred to as gentle. By application, we can be so very broken when we look up that we have a quality of gentleness in our life that is not coming from us.
Self-control is not self in control but self controlled by the Holy Spirit. This is where we get the term “Spirit filled.” We are not to be filled with or controlled by wine but we are to be filled with or controlled by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
This Thanksgiving thank God for His Spirit Who gives us the dynamic to fill and take His prescriptions when we look in, when we look around, and when we look up.