The fruit of the Spirit is our truest and greatest treasure, providing far greater sustenance to our lives than any amount of monetary and material possessions!
A high vitality diet lays the foundation for maintaining a healthy body and mind through the ages. However, embodiment of the fruit of the Spirit may be the ultimate form of prevention, especially from the negative consequences of stress, anxiety, anger, and other unresolved negative emotions on our health, and quality of life.
So what is the fruit of the Spirit?
We are being raised to chase after what I call the bright shiny things of life, yet we often don't know what we really want ~ we just think we do ~ neither do we always comprehend what we really need!
Aside from meeting our physical needs for food, clothing and shelter, humans have spiritual needs. Left unmet, we are challenged to thrive and live a high vitality, fruitful life.
The fruit of the Spirit ~ love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control ~ feeds us at a deep, soul level.
Let's look at the etymology of the word gentle: From early 13c Old French gentil/jentil, "high-born, worthy, noble, of good family; courageous, valiant; fine, good, fair." Other definitions include courteous, polite, not harsh, graceful and beautiful.
I think many would agree that it's these attributes ~ referred to in Galatians 5:22-23 as the fruit of the Spirit ~ that seems to be in short supply right now!
This study published in the European Heart Journal: Acute Cardiovascular Care in 2015 followed 313 participants with acute coronary occlusion. Frequency of angry outbursts within 48 hours of a myocardial infarction (MI) were noted and rated on a scale of 1-7, with 7 being the most intense. Seven participants, or 2.2% reported episodes of intense anger (≥5), found to be associated with an 8.5% increased risk for acute coronary occlusion; increased anxiety showed an 9.5% increased risk.
Stress, anger, and depression have all been shown to have a significant impact on heart health, which you can read more about, here.
Still wonder why I am emphasizing the fruit of the Spirit?
Maybe a better question should be why more people, especially in the medical and health fields are not?
The fruit of the Spirit may be the best shielding to a life of ongoing pain and hardship. Having an ability to remain present, and not let negative thoughts and emotions anchor in the mind can help you cope with inevitable challenges.
It's not so much about what happens to us, as it is about how we deal with what life presents.
The fruit of the Spirit ought to be what all aim to embody. It's very clear that having peace leads to greater flow and ease within the body than being anxious or stressed out. This ease ripples out from our very core into the world around us.
Imagine if we oriented our entire life around modeling the peace, joy, and love, patience, and kindness ~ the fruit of the Spirit ~ and we raised our children to do the same? What would our lives look like?
Compare that to continually getting triggered into anger, rage, and other negative emotions on a daily basis!
No amount of bright shiny things can help us embody the fruit of the spirit.
Neither will we find the answers to what plagues our individual and collective areas of mental, emotional, and/or physical pain and dis-ease in the schools, hospitals, magazines, social media, television, movies, sports games, through the government or science, or in the casinos, bars, or any of the things of this world.
Just look at the fruit of those trees for proof.
Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them." ~ Matthew 7:20