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a look at | Fruit of the Spirit


via She Reads Truth
 
… for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth…
-Ephesians 5:9, HCSB
 
I was always a good kid.

Ask my parents and I think they’d tell you, I was a joy of a daughter to raise. (Tell ‘em, Mom!) I never really gave any trouble when it came to boys, I had absolutely no interest in the shenanigans of drugs or alcohol, I was an excellent student, great friend, medium athlete and a conscientious includer of people. When we studied the fruit of the Spirit in my high school theology class, “goodness” was one of those fruits I was pretty sure I was nailing—no Spirit necessary for this one, thankyouverymuch. Being good was easy! Just look at how impressive I was!

Ah, the overconfidence of youth. I remember sitting up late one night on our senior class trip to Florida, riding shotgun with the bus driver while the rest of the class slept. We barreled down the highway somewhere between Toledo and Orlando while I flapped my adorable jaw about how I knew everything there was to know about God and the Bible. After twelve years of private Christian education, I really saw no need for further study of Scripture or pursuit of additional spiritual instruction. I was relatively confident graduation would procure for me both a high school diploma and my own personal sanctification certificate, all in one march across the stage.

Darkness.

I was in spiritual darkness. Not because my life showed all the signs of rebellion and bad news, but because my soul had no need for a Savior, or so it thought. I assumed I had saved myself through years of right answers and right behavior. But at 18 years old, my goodness wasn’t enough to save me—it was actually separating me from Christ.

The bus driver that night didn’t tell me all the hundred ways I’d gotten it wrong or laugh me off the bus. It was worse than that—he wasn’t impressed by me. In the honesty of that moment, just two people and a whole lot of highway, all the words I’d served him didn’t return the usual, “Wow, you’re such a great kid!” that I was used to. Instead, he looked concerned. That was new and puzzling for the good girl accustomed to good reviews. We sat quietly after that—me, the bus driver and the Holy Spirit. And God was at work in my “good”/dark heart, revealing a need for Him I’d honestly never noticed before.