My teaching this weekend (April 1-2) is from Galatians 5:22-23. I thought it would be helpful to have a working definition of the fruit of the Spirit. The following is such a list with the Greek words and a brief definition.

1. Agape = love. It means to serve a person for their good and intrinsic value, not for what the person brings you. Its opposite is fear: self-protection and abusing people. Its counterfeit (a fake version) is selfish affection, where you are attracted to someone and treat them well because of how they make you feel about yourself.

2. Chara = joy, a delight in God for the sheer beauty and worth of who He is. Its opposite is hopelessness or despair, and its counterfeit is an elation that is based on experiencing blessings, not the Blesser, causing mood swings based on circumstances.

3. Irene = peace, meaning a confidence and rest in the wisdom and control of God, rather than in your own. It replaces anxiety and worry. The fake version of peace is indifference, apathy, not caring about something.

4. Makrothumia = patience, an ability to face trouble without blowing up or hitting out. Its opposite is resentment toward God and others, and its counterfeits are cynicism or lack of care: This is too small to care about.

5. Chrestotes = kindness, which is an ability to serve others practically in a way which makes me vulnerable, which comes from having a deep inner security. Its opposite is envy, which leaves me unable to rejoice in another’s joy. And its fake alternative is manipulative good deeds, doing good for others so I can congratulate myself and feel I am “good enough” for others or for God.

6. Agathosune = goodness, integrity; being the same person in every situation, rather than a phony or a hypocrite. This is not the same as being always truthful but not always loving; getting things off your chest just to make yourself feel or look better.

7. Pistis = faithfulness, loyalty, courage, to be utterly reliable and true to your word. Its opposite is to be an opportunist, a friend only in good times. And its counterfeit is to be loving but not truthful, so that you are never willing to confront or challenge.

8. Prautas = gentleness, humility, self-forgetfulness. The opposite is to be superior or self-absorbed. Humility is not the same as inferiority.

9. Egkrateia = self-control, the ability to pursue the important over the urgent, rather than to be always impulsive or uncontrolled. The slightly surprising counterfeit is a willpower which is based on pride, the need to feel in control.

(Excerpt From: Keller, Timothy. “Galatians for You.” The Good Book Company, 2012; pages 153-154)