WITH THE GIFTS AND THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT
All too often we get submerged by the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ while neglecting the fruits of the Spirit.
Here is one thing I noticed in my years of Christianity: 'we easily give more attention to the gifts and we tend to neglect the fruits of the Holy Spirit'.
So when people operate through their gifts, we get mesmerized and sometimes we praise them (wrongfully, because all glory belongs to God). But do we pay attention to the fruits of the Holy Spirit?
Paul in Galatians 5:22-23 mentions the fruit of the Spirit as follow:
'But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law'
It matters that we exercise our gifts through the filter of the fruits. And I will give you a good reason as to why we should emphasize importance on the fruits of the Spirit:
The devil cannot mimic the fruits of the Spirit. In Matthew 7:15-20, Jesus warns us of false prophets by telling us that we shall know them by their fruits. Surely, He was talking about their bad fruits.
Many assume that the word 'fruits' only refer to 'ministry results or achievements' . As a results they measure the truthiness of a prophet, servant or disciple by the number of followers they have, or the crowds they attract or the length of their Christian CV...
But the word 'fruits' in the Bible does not refer to ministry of gift achievements. I know this because even false prophets, fake teachers and false disciples can attract followers and crowd, or even perform miracles through black magic. In Revelations 13, the Bible warns us of an antagonistic character also called the' Beast' who will perform signs and wonders...Since Satan can copy signs and wonders, the exercise of the gifts should not be the element to look at when assessing the truthiness of a Christ disciple. We should look at the fruits.
I often follow this technique when studying the Bible:' Let the Bible speak about the Bible'
If your definition of the word 'fruits' originates from a source other than the Bible, then it is likely that you will equate 'fruits' with achievement through the exercise of the gifts.
In order to gain an optimal definition of the word 'fruits' then I suggest you ask the following: ''What does the Bible say about fruits'?
Once you ask that question, the answer will lead you to a few passages and one of them is Galatians 5:22-23 where the fruits of the Spirit are named.
The fruits of the Spirit distinguish us. Not the gifts. And the bad fruits distinguish the false prophets and false disciples.
Think of this: 'the Devil can perform signs but he cannot love.
He can perform and even (falsely) teach the Bible but he cannot show faithfulness to the message because if he does, then it would go in the advantage of God. This is something he won't do. This is why though he may teach the Bible falsely, he will do his best to distort it. No faithfulness.
He can perform signs but he cannot show forbearance and patience because he has already ran out of time and he does not know when his final day will come. He is a 'dead dude walking. He cannot stock patience because he has no clue as to when his final day will occur.
This explains why when he tempts, he adds the promise of 'now'. He offered Jesus a 'quick way to have control over the kingdoms of the Earth (reference Matthew 4:1-11) because time is not on his side.
Here is my leadership nugget: 'a ministry leader, who constantly operates with the gifting while neglecting the fruits of the Spirit, is very likely to commit abuse in the church. Sooner or later, it will happen.
The fruits of the Spirit are for all of us: 'leaders or not, disciples and prophets. If we refuse to filter our gifts through the fruits of the Spirit, then it is very likely that we will only crush people around us.
Therefore, Having written all of the above, let us value the importance of the fruits of the Spirit when we operate with the gifts. And let people know who we truly are, not by the power of our gifts, but the fruits of the Holy Spirits.