This is a new series based on the “fruit of the Spirit,” found in Galatians 5: 22, 23:
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Have you ever thought of spiritual formation in connection with creativity, as expressed through artistry and/or crafting? Do you ever feel a connection with God while you are creating something? I do. And, because I feel such a deep sense of accomplishment and satisfaction through the fiber arts, I have started to think about how people form spiritually as a result of crafting and artistry.
Spiritual formation, in the Christian sense, is the process of transformation into the ways of Christ. It is the deep inner working of the Holy Spirit within the heart of the believer. It begins with, results in and is firmly rooted in love. This definition is mine, and perhaps it is incomplete, but it is a synthesis of what I have studied previously in my master’s program and have read recently by Dallas Willard and Fr. Richard Rohr.
As we grow, we find that all of life is interconnected. There is nothing that happens in our lives that does not affect us spiritually. There is also no spiritual movement in our lives (either backward or forward) that does not affect every part of our life. For instance, when I realize God’s love for me and allow God to fill me with his love, it will show in what I do, what I say and in how I treat others. It is the same if I deny God’s love in my life; it will affect what I do, say and how I treat others. Accepting God’s love and choosing to live in it, will have positive effects on my life and my relationships with others. Denial of God’s love and refusal to live in it, will have the opposite effect.
A way to measure how we are doing in spiritual formation is to reflect on some of the lists in scripture. A popular one is what is known as the Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5: 21, 22. The “fruits” – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – are evidence that the Holy Spirit is working in my life, just like peaches on a peach tree show that the tree’s DNA is doing exactly what it was created to do.
So if we are allowing the Holy Spirit of God to work in our hearts we should bear the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, and self-control. We may not always bear those fruits perfectly, we may mess up, but more and more as we grow, the motive of our hearts will be to let God produce those fruits.
All of life is interconnected. So, if I am allowing the Holy Spirit to work in my heart, these fruits will also show in my art and crafting since that is part of my life. How do you think it shows up?
*Fruit of the Holy Spirit, Stained glass window at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, depicting the Fruit of the Holy Spirit along with role models representing them, i.e. the Good Shepherd representing love, an angel holding a scroll of Gloria in excelsis Deo representing joy and Jesus Christ, Job representing longsuffering, Jonathan faith, Ruth gentleness and goodness, Moses meekness, and John the Baptist temperance. Executed by Hardman & Co. in the 1870s.