But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
I’m sure if we’re truthful, many of us will admit we do not always exhibit the Fruit of the Spirit. What we may not realize is that some of the fruit that we display can be a product of our previous experiences. Say one grew up in a home that had a lot of chaos and arguing. The fruit that person may bear out in their adult life might be related to the things they grew up with in their childhood. They may thrive on chaos or be argumentative in their daily lives. Old habits die hard, it’s said, and it’s so true. However, the whole point of the teaching of the Fruit of the Spirit is that the Holy Spirit GROWS that fruit in you. It’s a beautiful thing, really, but WE MUST ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN!
There is some scientific information supporting the fact that we can change our approaches as well:
In "Anatomy of the Soul: Surprising Connections between Neuroscience and Spiritual Practices That Can Transform Your Life and Relationships" by Curt Thompson M.D., he discusses that the brain can adjust how it responds to things. Even if we have fully established patterns of reaction, with some allowance on our part and with the work of the Holy Spirit, we can change. It states: "And we have even more reason to hope. While it’s true that established neural networks are most likely to fire, it’s equally true that recent research demonstrates that our brains were created with beautiful and mysterious plasticity. That means our neurons can be redirected in ways that correlate with joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self- control. Instead of automatically following the wired sequence of our old memory, with reflection, we can choose to create new pathways. “
So, as in most spiritual things, there must be an availability of our desire to change things. We must be, if nothing else, willing to allow the Spirit to work, but also may have to do some work ourselves in changing negative thought patterns or ways of interacting with the world around us.
Do you have a story of how you have changed thought patterns from what you have learned? If so, would you be willing to share?