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Lenten Devotional: March 11, 2024

by Cynthia Guthrie, Co-chair of School Partnerships

Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

Lent is a time of reflection for me. A time to consider where I am in my faith walk and what I want to focus on during the year. Paul provides a good checklist in Galatians when he lists the fruit of the Spirit. It’s an opportunity to reflect on how I see myself in each of these areas and, more importantly, how others see me.

An incredibly wise and faith-filled woman once shared with me her thoughts on these fruits and how they grow in our hearts. Her insight is the motivation behind my annual reflection and the lens through which I judge where I am each year. There is a battle taking place on the fertile ground in our hearts every day. The winner will determine what seeds are planted and nourished and what seeds are not. The seeds represent love or hate, joy or anger, peace or discontentment, patience or irritation, kindness or cruelty, goodness or evil, faithfulness or pointlessness, gentleness or harshness, and self-control or self-indulgence. Each of us may have a different word for the seeds that battle for position, but the message is the same. Where are we in that battle? What are we nourishing in our hearts?

To say I fall short in a number of these is an understatement, but God doesn’t ask for perfection. He does ask that we tend the garden. He has provided a guidebook in the Bible. His wish for each of us is that we nurture and grow these ‘seeds’ so we can live the life He wants for us.

Challenge/Reflection: Spend some time reflecting on which fruits you are growing in your heart. What are you nurturing with your energy, focus, actions, and words? Is it time to do some pruning and focus on growing the fruits God wants for us?


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