Developing the Fruits of the Spirit Through the Service of Others - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Faith
February 26, 2020

Developing the Fruits of the Spirit Through the Service of Others

When most people consider “why should I attend a Christian college” they think about being immersed in an environment that is … well, Christian. In an earlier blog post, What Does It Mean to Go to a Christian College, we looked at the benefits obtained from this immersion. And while this is important, it’s but one of many avenues a Christian college uses to equip its students with a biblically based mindset.

Another method Christian colleges use is extracurricular activities. And although extracurricular activities such as sports, marching band and music are important and teach valuable principles such as teamwork and dedication, today we’ll look at a different type of extracurricular activity—organized group activities whose express purpose is to assist others.

In the “faith without works” passage, the Bible instructs, “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so, faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” James 2:14-17 NASB

Christian colleges schedule activities that give students the opportunity to exhibit their faith through works and to build their faith through interactions with those who are less fortunate and/or those who need to hear the gospel message. These events often take place during spring and fall breaks and may include volunteer opportunities, mission trips, community service projects, service-work projects, humanitarian aid and Quest Trips.

Philippians 2:4 tells us, “Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Activities such as these provide students with an outward perspective, focusing on the needs of others.

In the following excerpts from Matthew 25:34-40, Jesus spoke of the future when He will sit on the throne as king and judge: “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat. … thirsty … naked … sick … Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? … The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”

These activities give you the opportunity to put your faith into action—quite often ministering “to the least of them.” They provide additional benefits as well:

  • Opportunities to develop relationships with others
  • Occasions to network with people who can become mentors and/or help you find a job after graduation
  • Opportunities to help and minister to those who are less fortunate, providing a totally new perspective you may not have otherwise had
  • And they help you to understand how truly blessed you are, helping you to be more grateful for the blessings in your life

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Serving others exhibits these fruits while at the same time often providing you with an opportunity to experience growth in various areas. A Christian who is deeply rooted in Christ continually endeavors to grow in the fruits of the Spirit throughout their lives. Fruit is, in fact, evidence that Christ is at work in you. John 15:4 (NASB) says, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.”

If you’re interested in learning more about opportunities such as these, Geneva College offers QUEST trips during the spring. QUEST offers service and cultural immersion trips to domestic and international locations and short-term mission trips. You immerse yourself in a service-work project that also provides an affordable way to travel and experience the culture of different cities.

Jesus tells us in Mark 12:30-31, “ ’And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” At the end of the Good Samaritan parable, found in Luke 10, Jesus asked which person proved to be the neighbor, to which they replied, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”

These activities let you do just that—the opportunity to “go and do the same,” by ministering to those in need. And in doing so, you make yourself available to the Holy Spirit who can shape your heart and mind in the process.

 If you’d like to learn more about professions that enable you to serve wholeheartedly and faithfully in your life’s work or want to learn more about a biblically-based, Christ-centered education at Geneva, we’d love to chat with you. For more information on how Geneva College can help you pursue your education goals, please phone us at 855-979-5563 or email web@geneva.edu.