Sharing positive spiritual gifts in stressful times

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22)

Sometimes, it’s good to get back to basics.applefruitsleaf-271x300

The attributes above, which Paul described to the Christians in Galatia, seem to be in short supply these days. Instead, we’re overwhelmed with “hatreds, rivalry…outbursts of fury…factions,” works of the flesh that Paul describes as being opposed to the Christian life.

As Christians, we’re called to extend love, joy, and peace, even as we’re beset by hatreds and outbursts of fury.

How do we do that?

Begin with prayer. Spend time each day asking the Spirit for those attributes Paul described, praying for the well being of those who disagree with us, and working to strengthen and deepen our spiritual lives.

From there, take these steps to foster positivity in a time that desperately needs it:

  • Don’t complain. Don’t fret. Don’t obsess with the current state of the world.Remember, God is in charge.
  • Denounce hatred and intolerance wherever you find it.
  • Reject violence, aggression, oppression.
  • Extend love and a positive attitude to all you encounter, even if they hold views significantly different from yours.
  • Be respectful of others and renounce disrespect, especially when it’s targeted at those who disagree with you.
  • Use critical thinking, particularly in your consumption and sharing of media.
  • Take the long view in reacting to the crisis du jour. This, too, shall pass.
  • Finally, in a time when common courtesy seems less and less common, model civility.