Fruit of the Spirit: List with Descriptions

by Crystal McDowell · Print Print · Email Email

Have you ever bit into a piece of fruit that was perfectly ripe and tasty? It’s a satisfying experience and a wonderful treat for your taste buds. In contrast, have you ever bit into fruit that had all the appearances of being delicious, yet it was sour, moldy, or dry? Not so good, right?

Does your fruit of the Spirit look appetizing? Notice it is “fruit” of the Spirit, not “fruits”. Our fruit of the spirit is one piece with many different characteristics. We know the fruit is:

“Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

All believers have the fruit of Spirit available to them. You don’t have to ask God for love, joy, or peace…you already have it in you. However, you may need to ask for a greater yield of your fruit on a day to day basis. The size of the fruit is different among believers. Some people spend time cultivating their fruit so that it’s flourishing; while others tend to neglect their fruit and it becomes unproductive.

Our fruit of the spirit is one piece with many different characteristics.

Our fruit of the spirit is one piece with many different characteristics.

Every so often believers need to make sure they are growing up spiritually. Perhaps it is time for your fruit inspection. Use the following Fruit Development Assessment (F.D.A.) to determine the condition of your spiritual fruit. Check the fruit you need the most nourishment to grow.


“Dear children let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

Is your love unconditional? Or is your love most evident when everything goes your way? This type of fruit keeps on loving even when it’s difficult to show affection to others. The capacity to love grows out of the agape love from the heavenly Father.


“For the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

Can you have joy in the chaos? Or does your moodiness hover over everyone like a cloud? Not that anyone should be joyful about the hard times, but rather your joy comes from #1) God is with you through it and #2) God uses every trial to help you become stronger in the faith.


“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-8).

Is your inner person wrecked with anxiety and worry when everything falls apart? Or can you rest in God’s peace? There is no peace for the wicked; however, for believers it is available every time you pray and leave your concerns with God.


“Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience” (Colossians 1:11).

Can you be still and wait on God? Or are you tempted to always move ahead so you can stay in control? Forbearance is a fruit that will grow with your experience of being stretched in faith especially in times of trial.  Forbearance is another word for patience; you don’t have to pray for patience…it’s there already!


“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful” (2 Timothy 2:24).

Do others sense your kindness in words and actions? Or are they more accustomed to your angry response? A gentle word, a soft answer, or a helping hand—all demonstrate the fruit of kindness in this culture of rudeness and selfishness.


“Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God” (3 John 11).

Are your conversations marked with genuine virtue and honor? Or is your conversation tainted with worldly language, immoral tendencies, or gossip? Goodness doesn’t mean that you are perfect, but rather someone who sincerely reflects the integrity of God within. A believer who demonstrates the fruit of goodness has the tendency to believe the best about people.


“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2).

Does your reputation reflect dependability and steadfastness in the faith? Or do people expect you to be late, undependable, or to drop off the map on a project? Your faithfulness represents God’s Spirit dwelling within. Those who cultivate the fruit of faithfulness are compelled to complete every good work for His glory.


“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near” (Philippians 4:5).

Is your meek spirit felt around those who live or work with you? Or do they feel that you are a hard and legalistic person to deal with? A spirit of gentleness gives grace freely and consistently. Believers and unbelievers should feel at ease around you because of your presence of gentleness.


“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:11-12)

Do you control your appetites? Or do they control you? Believers can demonstrate of life of self-control and discipline in a world where everyday is an opportunity for gluttony. You have the power through the Spirit to control your cravings.


Are you at 10%, 50% or 100% in your fruit productivity? What matters most is that you don’t give up growing spiritual fruit. You cultivate it with the light of Jesus, the wind from the Spirit, the bread from the Word of God, and the fellowship of the saints.

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8).

Take a look at this other article, also written by Crystal McDowell

Love is Patient Bible Study

Resource – New International Version Bible, The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblca, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. YouTube video “Fruit of the Spirit”.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Jean-Marc April 10, 2013 at 10:17 am

Thank you for this article crystal
God Bless


Crystal McDowell April 10, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Glory to our Father who blesses us with the fruit to accomplish His will! Amen.


Jack Wellman April 10, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Great work here my friend. I believe that sometimes the gifts of the Spirit tend to overshadow the fruits of the Spirit. I appreciate your biblical wisdom and teaching my friend and I thank God for you Crystal.


Crystal McDowell April 10, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Hi Jack! I never thought about it like that…it would be easy to get mixed up. Once again thanks for your wonderful words of encouragement. All praises to our King! Amen.
God bless,


Carla C April 10, 2013 at 1:20 pm

I needed a daily dose of “reflection.” Wow, God is good! This is cause to do a self-check. Praise God that he is merciful and gives grace.



C Mendoza April 10, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Great article Crystal, fruit is great for health, fruit of the spirit is great for improving health too !!!!!!


Patricia Schneider April 10, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Hello, Crystal!
What a great article with Scripture! Liked your writing “fruit inspection!” That was cool!
Not to brag (all attributes are God’s Gifts, right?) but I scored an 89 percent, in my opinion. Have a real hassle with “self-control.” (Please pray that I QUIT SMOKING CIGGIES, Crystal!) Also in losing my temper, my voice goes loud, become a real nag. (My poor hubby, Gary!) Yes, do quickly apologize…just wish it wouldn’t happen in the first place! To use your words, Crystal, I shall continue to “cultivate it with the light of Jesus.” How beautiful those words are!
Thanks so much for writing this, Crystal!
Oodles of blessings for you and your family, Crystal!
Your sister in Christ, Jesus…Patty


Emily April 12, 2013 at 6:20 am

Crystal, thanks for the encouraging reminder of who God wants us to be.


April Harris January 26, 2016 at 9:16 pm

What a blessings, what a privilege to please our Lord and SAVIOUR Jesus Christ..Thanks for sharing.

My Our Heavenly Father continue to bless you and yours.


Emily Nell Lagerquist April 27, 2017 at 8:39 am

Thank you so much! As we live into the fruit of the Spirit, we experience the kingdom of God on earth and we live Jesus’ message: the kingdom of God/heaven is within you. NT Wrigth talks about the Kingdom Project and how each of us can be part of that. It is through the fruit of the Spirit that we expand the Kingdom of God on earth.

Thank you for your reflection
Emily Nell


Melanie Beard July 9, 2017 at 12:13 pm

I enjoyed this article. I would like to ask if I could share this with our Christian school, Faith Christian Academy, Waynesboro, GA., acknowledging yourself as the writer of course. Thank you in advance for your consideration.


Jack Wellman July 9, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Thank you Melanie. By all means, share this. Great idea. Thank you for even asking.


Nate Lambert August 11, 2018 at 1:02 pm

Thank you for your research and time and life experience that fully explains this texts. Also make sermon preparation a joy.


Jack Wellman August 11, 2018 at 2:42 pm

Thank you pastor Nate for your comment.


Robert February 4, 2019 at 9:34 am

Very good article……..I am trying diligently to memorize all the fruit and I get to seven and then struggle. I need to make some memory cards and put them around. But memorizing doesn’t do a person any good to memorize and then not put the fruit to use. To use the fruit, I need the help of the Holy Spirit. On my own, I am fruitless. But at least memorizing the fruit will help me and maybe someone else who hears the words and then seeks where the words come from. Thanks for the article and prayers for the author and contributors.


scott woods March 27, 2019 at 11:36 pm

I don’t hold myself out to be a biblical scholar but one category of spirit fruits not listed that I believe really should be and is IMHO most absent in people is HUMILITY.


Jack Wellman March 28, 2019 at 9:27 am

Thank you Mr. Woods. Your point is a valid one sir.


Trish September 7, 2019 at 11:03 am

This why I pray each day for the Holy Spirit to always keep activating the Fruit in my Spirit. In other words, keep working those Fruit of Spirit when I start to go astray.


kenyetta Johnson August 14, 2020 at 9:50 am

This word was very helpful


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