Here is my contribution.
The Fruit of the Spirit. I've often pondered these two verses from Galatians. There is much to desire in them. I've even decided to pick, shall we say, a "fruit a week," and work on it in particular, attempting to better look like my Savior.
In case you aren't aware, this is (excuse the pun) a fruitless endeavor. I can't make myself exhibit this fruit any more than I can "make myself" acceptable to God.
In reviewing this passage, especially the first verse, I consulted several translations. Look at what I found in the Amplified Version. If you would, pay special attention to the first part of verse 22.
But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]. Galatians 5:22-23 AMPFirst, note that it is the fruit...is - not the fruit, or fruits, are. These are not individual things to "work on." It's one fruit. This is not a list of character traits that we need to strive for to be more like Jesus, or to please Him. It is, for lack of a better term, a package deal.
Next, look at what "it" is. This fruit comes from the Holy Spirit - God Himself. And it is "the work which His presence within accomplishes." We do not accomplish it on our own, any more than we earn our salvation. When we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes and lives with in us. And like a seed planted in the ground, He produces a crop within us--His own fruit.
Every person who is a child of God has this fruit within us--all of it. And, through a process of growth and yielding to the Spirit and God's will in our lives, each facet of it will bloom, showing outward evidence of the Spirit that lives within us.
It's easy to look at this list of Spiritual fruit and think "I really need to work on 'fill in the blank.'" But that's not what it's about. What we need to do is "work on" giving the Spirit control. Once cultivated by the Master Gardener, the fruit will come.
Heavenly Father, thank you for Your precious Word, and for sending Your Spirit to live within us and bear fruit, the Fruit of Your Spirit, through us. Help me to yield to You and allow this Fruit to blossom within me. Let others see this wonderful Fruit and know that it is You who produced it. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.