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Part 2: Are You Living By the Fruit of the Spirit or Fruit of the Flesh?

On Monday I posted the first part of this article exploring how the fruits of the Spirit parallel many of topics and areas examined in positive psychology.

In the previous article I examined the fruits of: love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness, and the opposing emotional state we tend to live by if we are not being emotionally aware.

Today, the rest of the attributes will be discussed along with the emotional counterparts. The remaining “fruits” include: generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

So, once again ask yourself where you fall on this emotional and behavioral continuum.

Are you living by generosity or greed?

Is giving to others and being generous part of your life? Giving doesn’t mean we have to neglect our personal needs, but when we have more than enough giving can be a powerful way to expand positivity. Focusing on what we have and how we can help others provides a sense of gratitude. If we are always envious of others and worried about what we lack, it leads to resentment and anxiety. Start focusing on what you have and believe in abundance for all.

Are you living by faithfulness or infidelity?

Being committed to others in relationships and life is not always easy. We live in world full of temptation, deceit, and corruption, but we also live in a world full of love, integrity and authenticity. All is not lost when we can move beyond the unfaithful messages and influences. If we want to live a life full of trust and loyalty we must become a faithful person willing to be dedicated and devoted to what we believe in.

Are you gentle or abrasive?

How do you approach dealing with others? We may forget that people have different personalities and view things differently. Knowing this fact can help us to be more sensitive and gentle in what we say and do around others. Not only that, but this can help us be less critical and judgmental of others, which in turn can improve relationships and offer a chance for positive influence.

Are you living by self-control or lack of discipline?

When we have self-control it provides the means to live by all the above attributes. It can help us be more patient, kind, and faithful. We can resist temptation and delay gratification we will be more likely to accomplish what we desire. We will have a strong foundation for making decision and dealing with problems that may arise. Self-control is a true variety of wisdom that can improve our life outcomes.

These last four “fruits” are just as powerful and impacting as the other five. When we can bring our awareness to these standards of living, we are much more likely to see improvements in our attitude, relationships, and overall life-satisfaction. Bring your focus to living by the emotional position of the fruits of the Spirit. By doing so, your life and the life of others around you will vastly improve.

Photo credit: quacktaculous

Part 2: Are You Living By the Fruit of the Spirit or Fruit of the Flesh?

Joe Wilner

Joe Wilner is a life coach, licensed clinical psychotherapist (LCP), and drummer from the band Yes You Are. He is also creator of You Have a Calling, a blog and online community helping people discover and pursue their life’s work and mission. Through deep and personalized coaching, he helps ambitious, creative, and spiritually minded individuals make a greater impact, grow as leaders, and design a soulful life they are inspired by.

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APA Reference
Wilner, J. (2011). Part 2: Are You Living By the Fruit of the Spirit or Fruit of the Flesh?. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 19 May 2011
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