Sometimes God is really, really obvious in his work. He once demonstrated his terrible wrath over human sin by sending massive amounts of water to the earth’s surface, covering it completely and ending all terrestrial life except for Noah’s floating zoo barge. He once demonstrated his compassion and power by feeding the equivalent of a basketball arena full of people with just five small loaves and two fish.
But God more often is really, really subtle in his work, and that is an offense to some. They want more flash, more bang, more miracles, more power—something! God is utterly unmoved by people’s demands for a show. Instead, he seems to prefer manifesting his working by the godly behaviors of his believers. We are God’s ambassadors who speak for him but also his handiwork, quiet but powerful and visible evidences of the Spirit’s indwelling.
Scripture calls these godly behaviors “fruits of the Spirit,” and the fifth chapter of Galatians lists nine of them. The first may be the most powerful of them all: “The fruit of the Spirit is love” (Galatians 5:22). Love is the unconditional giving of worth and importance to another person. Jesus Christ is the gold standard, giving up his life to give us life.
It is our first purpose on earth to love God and to make other people feel valuable. When this day is over, will anyone have noticed at least one example of the Spirit-fruit of love in what you said and did today?