None of us want chaotic, confused, and futureless relationships. We want relationships that are filled with vitality, but we have a power problem. Our toxic emotions seem to have great strength, and we can feel powerless against them. Yet, God has given us the power we need in the Holy Spirit. God has given us His powerful presence to give us victorious strength, but we must conform our walk to the way of the Spirit.
“And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:24-26, NKJV)
As followers of Jesus who have killed the power of the old life through faith in Jesus, we live in the Spirit. To “walk in the Spirit” means that we conform to the ways of the Spirit. We submit our life, including our emotions, to the Spirit’s design of new life in us. God is working His power in us right now by His Spirit for His good pleasure.
As we allow the Spirit to transform our emotions, His fruit produces specific fruit that bring health and clarity in our relationships. He produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and generosity. The final three pieces of the Spirit’s fruit show the blessings that the Spirit’s power works in our relationships as He transforms our emotions.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23, NKJV)
When the Spirit transforms our emotions, faithfulness characterizes our relationships. “Faithfulness” (pistis) is being dependable. Springing from the love we experience from God, we yearn to be faithful to God in every aspect of our life, including relationships. Because God is faithful to us, we are trustworthy and dependable in our relationship with Him and others.
When the Spirit transforms our emotions, gentleness characterizes our relationships. “Gentleness” (prautēs) is the obedient submission to God’s will and the tender acts of love and grace when considering the feelings of others. Because of God’s love poured in our hearts by the Spirit, we demonstrate tenderness toward others.
When the Spirit transforms our emotions, self-control characterizes our relationships. “Self-Control” (engkrateia) is the discipline to refrain from a path that is purely self-serving. For the sake of demonstrating the character of Christ, we seek what is beneficial to others, not merely ourselves.
Stop. Take a breath. And pray:
“God, as I submit to Your Spirit, will You transform my emotions so that they produce the fruit of the Spirit in my relationships.”