There are times it seems Christians check the fruit of the Spirit at the door and proceed without caution:
- When you are doctrinally correct: Being right on a matter doesn’t give you the right to be hostile, angry, unloving, unkind, etc.
- When you are by yourself: Being alone doesn’t give us license to sin. The fruit of the Spirit is not produced based on who we are around. It is produced from us because the Holy Spirit is in us.
- When you are depressed or angry: Our feelings often make it difficult to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. Now, the fruit of the Spirit doesn’t make you happy all the time, lets be honest, but we can still be people of love, joy, patience, etc regardless of our circumstances
- When you are hungry: Snickers is on to something here…when we are hungry we are more likely to be irritable. Don’t check the fruit of the Spirit at the door due to a hungry stomach!
- When you are lonely: There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. It is easier to check the fruit of the Spirit at the door in both instances…but when it comes to loneliness, our lack of connection and feelings of isolation can influence us to reach out to things that are opposed to the desires of the Spirit and his fruit.
- When you are hurt: When someone hurts us, it is easy to justify behaviors that are not in line with the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is not conditioned on the actions of others but on the Spirit’s work in our lives.
- When you are tired: This is not just being physically tired. This is amplified by emotional or spiritual tiredness. In times like these we let our guards down and can get into things we might not think about otherwise. It is dangerous ground.
When are some other times we are prone to resist the work of the Spirit?
Al-anon and perhaps AA has/have a Slogan: H.A.L.T. = When you are hungry, angry, lonley or tired. HALT! Be especially careful what you say or how you react/respond to others! (For myself the “L” is late.)
When you are of old age. I have seen older people turn quite mean. Also, their sins (gluttony, gossip, bearing false witness) were acceptable. They could and did run the young people off from churches and Christianity but no one seemed to mind.