- Virginia Brown
In the Book Nook in the foyer, there is a new book called “Character Matters: Shepherding in the Fruit of the Spirit.” Written by Aaron Menikoff, Character Matters speaks primarily to pastors, elders, and anyone with any leadership capacity in the church. However, if you are not in a leadership position, do not let that deter you from engaging with this book. Whoever commits to following Christ begins a lifelong process of sanctification through the Holy Spirit. This means that everything about us—our life, actions, and words—needs to be brought into submission to our Lord in a pursuit of Christlikeness. This includes our character as well.
The main question this book confronts us with is this, “Is the fruit of the Spirit growing in your life?” The fruit of the Spirit may be common knowledge—“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against such things, there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22-23) However, knowing the fruit of the Spirit is not enough, we must strive to grow and practice the fruit daily.
But how do we grow in the fruit of the Spirit? How do we resist sounding like a noisy cymbal and show love? What does joy practically look like? What is the root of peace? How can we keep from growing weary in patience? What is the difference between nice and kind? Is goodness possible while we are still sinners? What actions does faithfulness produce? Are there ways we are harsh that need to be turned to gentleness? Is self-control separate from the rest of the fruit or is it interwoven with the rest?
I recommend this book because it ties in so well with our series in Obadiah and our discussion on battling pride. Growing in the fruit of the Spirit will shrink the cancer of pride in our lives because the Spirit’s work in us is to conform us to the image of Christ—the epitome of humility. By the Spirit, we become focused on God and others.
So pick up this book and give it a read… I’d love to discuss it with you over a cup of coffee some day soon.