The continued development of the “Fruits Of The Beatitudes” progressed with the March 2016 post of the “Life’s Deep Thoughts” blog. This post discussed the concept of “causality”—where, in a relationship between two variables, the first variable ‘affects’ the second variable in a ‘synchronized’ manner. The post proposed the idea that there might just be an ‘association’ between “The Beatitudes” and the “fruit of the Spirit” in the Bible—since the apostle Paul is sometimes considered an “expositor,” trying to ‘clarify’ the teachings of Jesus.
It so happens that there are nine “Beatitudes” (there are nine “Blessed’s”), and there are nine “Fruit Of The Spirit.” Is this a coincidence?
“Causality” is a ‘big’ word that describes the simple concept of “cause and effect”—where, in a relationship between two variables, the first variable ‘affects’ the second variable in a ‘synchronized’ manner. A “positive” causality is where, if one variable increases, the other one also increases, and if one decreases, the other also decreases. [ FYI: A “negative” causality is where if one variable increases, the other one decreases ].
Some causes are one way or ‘directional’ (“a” affects “b”; “b” doesn’t affect “a”). An example might be: “It has been raining a lot, so umbrella sales have increased.” Conversely, an increase in umbrella sales doesn’t necessarily increase how much it rains (and the increase might actually be because it’s been much more sunny, and people are using the umbrellas for ‘shading’ themselves).
However, some associations have a ‘reciprocal’ relationship (“a affects “b” and “b” does affect “a”). An example could be: “The price of a product decreases, and the demand increases. The demand decreases, and the price increases” (a very ‘simple’ “supply and demand” example).
Well, all this to say that I have ‘noticed’ that there might be an ‘association’ between the topics I have been discussing for the past few months.
Two months ago I discussed “THE BEATITUDES” [ https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-blessed-life-v203/ ], and just last month I talked about a ‘special portion’ the apostle Paul’s teaching to the Galatian church that is referred to as the “FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT” [ https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-fruitful-life-v204/ ].
Since these are two very ‘substantial’ teachings for living the Christian life, I wondered if there is any ‘connection’ between them. Since the apostle Paul is sometimes considered an “expositor” (trying to ‘clarify’ the teachings of Jesus), there just might be some ‘ASSOCIATION’ here.
It so happens that there are nine “Beatitudes” (there are nine “Blessed’s”), and there are nine “Fruit Of The Spirit.” Is this a coincidence?
Well, it seems to me that if a Christian is honestly trying to ‘achieve’ the character quality that Jesus is stating in the Beatitudes—that we desire to ‘acquire’—then there might be something more that we can expect to be blessed with than just what it mentioned in that particular Beatitude. (i.e. If one “mourns” then they will be “comforted”).
As I mentioned in the previous ‘posts’, the “Beatitudes” have to do with the ‘qualities’ of one’s heart, whereas the “Fruit Of The Spirit” deals with the ‘actions’ one does when they are guided by the Holy Spirit. In a different context, Jesus mentions that “out of the heart of men (from ‘within’), proceeds thoughts” (‘actions’), so it would just depend on whether or not the apostle Paul was trying to clarify Jesus’ ‘hard’ teachings of the Sermon on the Mount.
In addition to this, I also wondered if there is a ‘reciprocal’ relationship between them (i.e. When one emphasizes the Beatitudes, does that affect the ‘fruit’ they produce, and when one increases their focus on one of the Fruit of the Spirit, does that affect their inner attitude of the Beatitude associated with that ‘fruit’?).
Matching them up side-by-side (in the same order they appear in Scripture), here’s how they correspond to each other:
THE BEATITUDES FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
POOR IN SPIRIT…………. Love
PURE IN HEART…………. Goodness
When you look at the above ‘pairings’, you might be inclined to say, “I don’t see any correspondence. The first one starts with ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit’ and the associated Fruit of the Spirit is ‘love.’” Well, I have found, time and time again, that when there is a ‘difficulty’ about understanding precisely the meaning of what Jesus said, you can find somewhere in the teachings of the apostle Paul the matter clearly explained. So, he’s not going to just ‘reframe’ the Beatitudes, he’s going to ‘describe’ their intent.
Also, since these two lists are ‘distinct’ from each other in the Bible, their emphasis will be different. Jesus is talking about the ‘inward’ thoughts in the Beatitudes, and Paul is explaining what the ‘consequences’ would be of those certain thoughts of the Fruit of the Spirit. Therefore, you would not expect the two lists to correspond exactly, since one is speaking about what you think (concerned with your inner attitude), whereas Paul is talking about what happens when these thoughts bear ‘fruit’ in action (when the thoughts become works of the ‘flesh’). In addition to that, elsewhere in the Bible, the concept of works of the ‘flesh’ (sinful nature) are mentioned to be the consequences of the thoughts of the ‘heart’ (Mark 7:21-23; Galatians 5:16-17; James 1:14; Romans 7:18; Jeremiah 17:9; Ephesians 2:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:22; Romans 13:13-14).
All this being said, it seems to me that it is possible that Paul is actually trying to explain what Jesus said in the Beatitudes. Jesus does not emphasize the aspect of works of the flesh or fruit of the Spirit for one very simple reason: He knows if you have these thoughts—these thoughts which He described as “blessed”—then you will have the Fruit of the Spirit. You cannot do these things yourself—it is something the Spirit does ‘in’ you. You cannot ‘produce’ the fruit. By ‘definition’ they are ‘of’ the Spirit. So, having spoken the first part, the second part will follow—and Paul, as a commentator, has the task of explaining explicitly what actions would be a ‘consequence’ of these inner thoughts.
Now, let me go beyond what our first impression might tells us, and ‘compare’ them to see whether or not my observation is valid.
“POOR IN SPIRIT” and “LOVE”
The first Beatitude states, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven,” and the first Fruit of the Spirit is “Love.”
“Poor in spirit” means to be humble, and devoid of pride. Humility is the realization that all your gifts and blessings come from the grace of God, bringing one an inner peace that allows one to do the will of God.These people keenly feel their inadequacies. unworthiness, and helplessness without God’s grace. They don’t try to hide these things under a ‘cloak’ of self-sufficiency, but are honest and grieved about them—driving them into the ‘arms’ of God.
Those who are “poor in spirit” acknowledge their spiritual ‘bankruptcy’ before God with a sense of utter dependence, and know that they deserve nothing but the judgment of God, are given the “Kingdom of God.” When you confess that you have nothing to offer, nothing in yourself that would change your situation, you come to God like a ‘spiritual beggar’—wanting God to have ‘pity’ on you.
So then, when you have this kind of ‘attitude’, do you know what God will do? Well, He will ‘pour forth’ His LOVE upon you! The apostle Paul says, “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” [ Romans 5:5 ]. Paul is speaking from experience—and he is saying that if you come to God as a ‘spiritual beggar’, you will experience God’s LOVE.
“MOURNING” and “JOY”
The second Beatitude states, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted,” and the second Fruit of the Spirit is “Joy.”
The proper reaction upon realizing one’s spiritual bankruptcy is to depend on God’s mercy and grace. God demands that sin be recognized, mourned, and repented of.
If we are humble and appreciate that all of our gifts and blessings come from God, we grow in love and gratitude, and produce mourning and regret over our own sins.
What happens to those who mourn over their own sins, who mourn over the sins of other people, and who mourn over the sins of the church? (just as Ezra and Nehemiah mourned over the sins of Israel). Well, when Ezra said, “Lord, we have sinned. We, your people Israel, have sinned wretchedly. Have pity upon us” (Nehemiah 8:9), what happened? Well, God ‘poured forth’ His forgiveness and they all celebrated with joy. “Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them” [ Nehemiah 8:12 ]. So, when you mourn over sin, God will fill you with JOY.
That is also exactly what the ‘parallel’ passage to the second Beatitude says. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh” (Luke 6:21)—or, said another way, to be filled with JOY.
“MEEKNESS” and “PEACE”
The third Beatitude states, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,” and the third Fruit of the Spirit is “Peace.”
A meek person is one with an inner temperament that is gracious, strong, balanced, and under control. They are not quick to take ‘offense’ at others, being very patient with them—since they realize God has been very patient with them!
What do you think would happen if you come before God in meekness, humility, and with a contrite heart? Well, God will fill you with His PEACE—a peace that you have never experienced before. That is just what Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” [ Matthew 11:28-29 ]. If you come to Jesus in ‘meekness’ He will give you PEACE for your soul!
As we continue to become more ‘meek’ and permit God to fight our ‘battles’ for us, PEACE will ‘rule’ in our hearts!
“RIGHTEOUSNESS” and “PATIENCE”
The fourth Beatitude states, “Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled,” and the fourth Fruit of the Spirit is “Patience.”
The righteous have a strong desire to please God, to do His will, and be ‘right’ with Him—because they know that “Righteousness is the road to life and the path to immortality” [ Proverbs 12:28 ]. So, to them, it’s the only way to live, and it’s the only way to Heaven.
Biblically, righteousness means “to be made right with God”—and righteousness is given to a person when they ‘believe’ in Jesus. At that point they will understand they are a sinner separated from God, they become broken in spirit, mournful, and meek, they then want to be restored to a right relationship to God and be forgiven—desiring to be freed from ‘self’ and sin’s power.
First off, in the Greek, this is the ‘present continuous’ tense—meaning that one keeps on hungering and thirsting for spiritual ‘food’ continually. So, what happens to you when you do that? Well, God promises to give the ‘victory’ to those who persevere: “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him” [ James 1:12 ]. (Also: Luke 21:19; Colossians 1:1-12; Revelation 2:10).
The thing is, endurance and perseverance are just other terms for PATIENCE.
“MERCIFUL” and “KINDNESS”
The fifth Beatitude states, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy,” and the fifth Fruit of the Spirit is “Kindness.”
Mercy comes from a heart that has first felt its spiritual ‘bankruptcy’, has come to grief over its sin, has learned to wait meekly for the timing of the Lord, and has hungered for the work of God’s mercy to satisfy them with the righteousness they need.
The key to becoming a merciful person is to become a ‘broken’ person. You get the power to show mercy from the real feeling in your heart that our mercy to each other comes from God’s mercy to us.
These two words are so close in meaning that there is hardly a need for drawing an association. In fact the words ‘merciful’ and ‘kindness’ are constantly ‘linked’ in the New Testament. “When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy” [ Titus 3:4-5 ].
One is simply the consequence of the other. These are constantly ‘linked’ to each other in the Bible. When one is merciful, one has KINDNESS.
“PURE IN HEART” and “GOODNESS”
The sixth Beatitude states, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God,” and the sixth Fruit of the Spirit is “Goodness.”
Purity of heart comes after you’ve hungered and thirsted for righteousness and after God has dispensed His mercy upon you. It is His mercy that cleanses your evil heart. Purity is not something that you earn—it comes from God’s mercy.
The term “heart,” when used in the Bible, relates to ones ‘will’—the seat of a person’s personality. Predominantly it refers to the thinking processes—not the emotions, but our choices. So, a “pure heart” means that the decisions one makes, the desires one has, and the thoughts and intensions of the will are all untarnished by sin, and that it is that person’s will to be pleasing to God. From a pure heart comes only good things—acts of love, mercy, grace, and desires for righteousness, justice, and peace—decisions that please God.
The connection between ‘pure’ and ‘good’ is quite explicit in Scripture, where the two words are many times found side by side: “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” [ 1 Timothy 1:5 ]. If we are to obey God’s command to love, our heart must be pure and we must maintain a clear and good conscience. A good conscience is just another way to say GOODNESS. “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit [GOODNESS], impartial and sincere” [ James 3:17 ]. Pure and good are simply synonymous terms.
“PEACEMAKER” and “FAITHFULNESS”
The seventh Beatitude states, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God,” and the seventh Fruit of the Spirit is “Faithfulness.”
Some people think peace is the absence of conflict. But peace is more than that—there is no ‘strife’ in a cemetery, but that’s not a ‘model’ of peace. God sees peace not as the absence of conflict, but the presence of righteousness. Righteousness will bring about right relationships. Peace is not just stopping a war. It’s the impartation of righteousness that brings two parties together in love. God’s peacemakers don’t just stop wars—they replace what causes the war with the righteousness of God. True peace is when conflict is resolved and the parties become friends.
God’s wisdom attains peace through purity. Peace is never established at the expense of righteousness. Peace and righteousness are inextricably interlinked—they can’t be divorced from each other. Psalm 85:10 says, “Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” True peace is always accompanied by righteousness and purity.
Jesus was ‘faithful’ to what God the Father wanted by going to the cross—so that there would be ‘peace’ between humans and God the Father. So, in order for us to be a peacemaker, we must first reconcile ourselves to God.
Why does Jesus call us to “take up your cross”? Well, so that we follow Jesus in His footsteps, reconciling man to man and man to God. “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. We have been reconciled to God through Jesus and we are now given the ministry of reconciliation. The disciple who does the work that Jesus did, being a peacemaker, expresses his faithfulness towards his Master” [ 2 Corinthians 5:18 ].
The peacemaker is someone who can be described as faithful because such a person is one who is walking FAITHFULLY in the footsteps of Jesus to be an ‘ambassador’ for peace.
“PERSECUTED” and “GENTLENESS”
The eighth Beatitude states, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven,” and the eighth Fruit of the Spirit is “Gentleness.”
The Christian, telling others about Jesus, stirs up strife—and that is what causes them to be persecuted. Godliness generates antagonism. That doesn’t mean we should strive to make enemies, but we shouldn’t be surprised when we do. A godless, angry, sinful world will react when confronted righteousness. By acting like ‘salt’ in the world wounded by sin (Matthew 5:13) we will get a ‘reaction’—salt in a wound stings!
So, when people criticize you for believing in Jesus—call you names, insult you, ridicule you, and lie about you—trying to dishonor you—don’t take the ‘bait’. Refuse to retaliate, and entrust yourself to God—who judges justly. “Never pay back evil with more evil…If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Never avenge yourself—leave that to God, who said, “I’ll be the judge and I’ll take care of it.” [ Romans 12:17-19 ].
Jesus was abused, ridiculed, and laughed at, but He did not retaliate in any way. He was gentle and meek. He didn’t behave in an aggressive manner or ‘strike back’.
How should a Christian behave when they are persecuted for righteousness’ sake? Strike back? Get even? No! Their attitude should be one of GENTLENESS.
We can all smile when times are good, but what we really are will appear when times are hard. Where can we see the true GENTLENESS of a person—their true character? It will be under persecution.
“INSULTED” and “SELF-CONTROL”
The ninth Beatitude states, “Blessed are you when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake,” and the ninth Fruit of the Spirit is “Self-control.”
When false stories and lies are being told about you, and people are seeking to ruin your reputation, then our anger arises and we want to strike back—because we feel, “That’s not right! That’s not true! You have not the right to say that about me.” How then should you behave? Well, the apostle Peter tells us how Jesus did: “He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered” (1 Peter 2:23), and as ‘followers’ of Jesus we should desire to ‘emulate’ Him—with SELF-CONTROL.
Any fool can fight back and retaliate, but God says that He will ‘bless’ you when you respond with love. The greatest persecutor of the Church in Jesus’ day, Saul, became the greatest ‘apostle’, Paul, (after he ‘met’ Jesus), and is responsible for over two-thirds of the New Testament—more than any other author—and was persecuted immensely!
Jesus showed how He had the most most SELF-CONTROL of all men: “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open his mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth” [ Isaiah 53:7 ].
Jesus emphasized this by saying, “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles” [ Matthew 5:39-40 ].
The apostle Peter also ‘chimed in’ on this: “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love” [ 1 Peter 1:5-7 ].
Am I ‘stretching’ to get these ‘associations’? Well, that’s up to you to decide. But for me, it seems that there is some ‘interdependence’ between the “Beatitudes” and the “Fruit of the Spirit.”
This may not be ‘Spirit-inspired’ (“thus saith the Lord”), but at the very least I’m hoping that this will help you remember these ‘QUINTESSENTIAL’ TEACHINGS of the Bible for the ‘BLESSED’ Christian life.
The “Sermon on the Mount”—of which the “Beatitudes” is the ‘introduction’ to—has been said, by most, to be the “most important sermon” that Jesus ever ‘preached’, and that the “Fruit of the Spirit” are the most important ‘traits’ that a Christian can demonstrate in their lives.
I mentioned that the Beatitudes have to do with the ‘attitudes’ of the heart of the Christian, whereas the Fruit of the Spirit deals with the work of the Holy Spirit in the person who has these ‘qualities’.
If my hypothesis is correct, then for me, it raises another question. If the Beatitudes talk about our ‘inner’ attitudes and if the Fruit of the Spirit deals with what the Holy Spirit does ‘in’ us, does that mean that you have to ‘do’ one in order to ‘get’ the other? If so, then which comes ‘first’ in the life of the Christian? The “Beatitudes” or the “Fruit of the Spirit”?
Now, I’m not trying to imply that we have to ‘try’ hard to get the qualities described in the Beatitudes in order to be able to reap the Fruit of the Spirit—that we can ‘work’ for them with human effort. That would be contrary to the gospel of God’s grace. It’s God who enables us to be poor in spirit, meek, thirst and hunger for righteousness, and so on. But, this does highlight the importance of keeping a good ‘balance’ between the grace of God and the responsibility of man.
Now, the Sermon on the Mount should not be considered just a collection of ‘ethical’ teachings that tells us how to be good. It is a ‘spiritual’ teaching that deals with the ‘constitution’ of the Kingdom of God.
Ethical teaching tells one how to be good and exhorts one to strive to be good, whereas spiritual teaching is much more than that. It doesn’t just tell you to be good, it tells you to ‘accept’ a new way of life in which you are utterly changed and transformed by God’s ‘influence’ in you.
Spiritual teaching is impossible to fulfill if God’s influence is not at ‘work’ in you—and you will achieve nothing on your own. We must also understand that God’s influence cannot be at work in you without your ‘consent’. God will not force you to be changed if you don’t want to. That is what I mean by having a ‘balanced’ view of the grace of God in relation to the responsibility (will) of man. We don’t suddenly become all merciful on the day we decide to ‘follow’ Jesus. God’s grace is effectual, over time, in a heart that seeks to obey Him. Conversely, a rebellious heart will ‘quench’ the Holy Spirit, and not be ‘transformed’.
The Beatitudes describe what every ‘citizen’ of the kingdom of God ought to be in terms of their spiritual qualities—-pressing on whole-heartedly toward that ‘mark’ with constant zeal—a ‘picture’ of the ideal Christian that, by God’s grace, we will become. So, in that sense, we aim for the “be-attitudes” to ‘become’ part of our being.
The thing is, God will show us exactly what we should be pursuing. You see, God’s grace is available for anyone who is willing to ‘accept’ Jesus by faith. But one must have the right attitude. If you refuse to ‘open’ your heart to God, the Holy Spirit cannot ‘empower’ you to become the kind of person that the Jesus speaks about in the Beatitudes. Again, that’s why all of this will only ‘work’ if it is a subject of intensely focused prayer for you.
Okay then, which comes first—the Beatitudes or the Fruit of the Spirit?
Well, if we’re trying to determine how one thing would ‘affect’ the other (“cause and effect”), there’s a very ‘popular’ concept for this presented in the Bible. It essentially says that what one “sows,” one “reaps” (plants/harvests).
So, let’s return to the letter of Paul to the Galatians, in the chapter after (chapter 6) the Fruit of the Spirit. Paul says that what you ‘reap’ depends on what you ’sow’—and it depends on how one does it. “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” [ Galatians 6:8 ].
Notice it is man who ‘sows’—it’s his responsibility if he wants a ‘harvest’. Paul also adds that “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” [ 2 Corinthians 9:6 ].
So then, what would it involve to ‘sow’ to the Spirit? Well, Jesus said that we should ”Strive to enter through the narrow gate.” The verb ‘to strive’ means ‘to labour fervently,’ ‘to exert to the fullest,’ or ‘to endeavor with strenuous zeal.’ Entrance into the Kingdom of God involves this kind of ‘attitude’—a whole-hearted dedication and effort. The emphasis is on the ATTITUDE of the ‘heart’—and that is what the Beatitudes are all about.
As the Fruit of the Spirit is the outward ‘manifestation’ of what God does in us, to get ‘fruit’, you have to sow a ‘seed’—the Beatitudes—then you can ‘reap’ the Fruit of the Spirit. So, if you ‘sow’ the Beatitudes, you will ‘reap’ the Fruit of the Spirit. The Beatitudes come ‘first’.
Also, as I mentioned at the beginning of this ‘post’ about “positive causality,” it does seem that these associations are ‘reciprocal’—meaning the more you ‘do’ EITHER of the Beatitudes or the Fruit of the Spirit, it ‘increases’ the other (i.e. the more “poor in spirit” one is the more loving they will be, or if one is more loving they will be more “poor in spirit”).
Personally, once I understood the ‘association’ between these teachings, something very wonderful happened—I got the sense that this could be the essential ‘details’ for my ‘living out’ the Christian life. Of course, this is in addition to what Jesus said is the ‘essence’ of the Christian life: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.” The thing is, if one ‘is/does’ the Beatitudes and the Fruit of the Spirit, they will inevitably love God more, and be more loving to their ‘neighbor’ (and love is the first and most important Fruit of the Spirit, that ‘coalesces’ the others).
But, for this to ‘work’ for you, you must be ‘yielded’ to Jesus as “Lord” of your life if you are to be ‘fruit-bearing’ Christian (A prayer of “reconciliation” is below). As you ‘abide’ in Him, and He abides in you, you shall produce much fruit: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing” [ John 15:5 ].
Metaphorically, the concept of ‘fruit’ has been compared, elsewhere in the Bible, to a ‘vine’ and a ‘tree’. You will find that the fruit is something that has come forth from them. It is not ‘inside’ them, it is borne ‘outside’ of them. It becomes the ‘manifestation’ of the life of the vine or the tree. It is something that you can actually take from them without in any way affecting the ‘life’ of them (they will continue to grow and produce more fruit). You cannot take a man’s inner being away from him—his thoughts, his feelings, and his attitude—but you ‘take’ his works, that is, his ‘fruit’ or actions.
For me, I think I have found THE “causal association” in the Bible that will help me ‘focus’ on becoming more like Jesus—and I aim to become the kind of person that God will BLESS! I may not be ‘successful’ at doing all of these things all the time in my life, but at least I have a ‘standard’ to assess my progress to being like Jesus by.
Might I strongly encourage you to join me in developing the inner ‘attitudes’ the Beatitudes speak of, and putting into ‘action’ the Fruit of the Spirit.
Let’s live life with a ‘cause’—to have a ‘FRUITFUL’ ATTITUDE and to ‘effect’ this world with the LOVE of Jesus!