We’ve officially entered the Advent season, a time of prayerful expectation as we await the coming of Christ. What do you hope to get from Advent this year? What fruit will come from this season of preparation? And how will you recognize the fruits of Advent when Christmas finally comes?
Gary Zimak, a regular Morning Air® contributor, recently stopped by and suggested that if we are looking to bear good fruit this Advent season we should look to the fruits of the Holy Spirit as our guide.
“Advent is a season of hope, it’s a season of expectant waiting,” he said. “We know that if we make the attempt to grow closer to Christ we want to welcome Him more deeply into our lives. In order to do that I’m going to have to do a little bit of cleaning. I’m going to have to look at those areas where I am deficient.”
He shared with listeners one way he examines his spiritual life, saying, “I like to use the fruits of the Holy Spirit as my examination of conscience or my checklist. They’ve been on my mind a lot lately, ever since I wrote my book Let Go of Anger and Stress! that’s all about the fruits of the Holy Spirit.”
Advent is a time in which we prepare ourselves to welcome Christ. And Gary pointed out that if we grow in the fruits of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – we will not only be ready to welcome Christ but will be more like Christ ourselves.
“[Jesus] showed the evidence of all these fruits,” Gary said. “But through the working of the Holy Spirit, I can be transformed into Jesus. In fact, that’s the job of the Holy Spirit, to transform me into another Christ.”
So how can we use the fruits of the Holy Spirit to grow more like Christ this Advent? Gary offered a practical idea, saying, “What I would recommend for the Advent season is to pick one of these fruits and work on them throughout the Advent season. Maybe one each week that we work on. That way we have a concrete goal going into the Advent season. When you have a goal chances are you’re going to do a better job at achieving that goal.”
In a world full of outrage and anxiety, the fruits of the Holy Spirit can seem to be in short supply. But if we strive this Advent to grow in these fruits, it can make a huge impact not only in our own lives but in the lives of those around us.
“Really, I can’t control the other person,” Gary said. “I can only control myself. But if my life is displaying joy, peace, patience, and kindness that’s going to have a big effect on the lives of those around me.”
Listen to the full conversation below: