This is not a list of options to choose from whenever you want. These are not fruits (as in different types) but fruit (singular) as a whole.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, self-control: against such there is no law. (NKJ)
Are these just a list of different emotions? Is not joy an emotion? Can’t we get that peaceful easy feeling? Most Christians only experience the fruit of the Spirit on an emotional level. Therefore, they love only when they feel like it. They have self-control when they are in the mood. They have faith when they can see or feel something happening.
The Greek word used here for fruit is karpós – the result, work, deed, action, profit, or gain; that which originates or comes from something; an effect.
Ephesians 5:8-11 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. (NKJ)
Emotions are good and given to us by our Creator. However, we must experience this fruit on more than just an emotional level.
The emotion of love is lust. Saying, “I love you but…”
Luke 6:32-35 But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. (NKJ)
The emotion of joy is happiness. Thinking the acquisition of things will make us happy.
John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. (NKJ)
The emotion of peace is self-satisfaction. Feeling like the only way I can have peace is if I get my way.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (NKJ)
The emotion of longsuffering is tolerance. I’ll forgive but never forget. Longsuffering in the Greek is makrothymía (mak-roth-oo-mee’-ah) (makrós, “long” and thymós, “passion, anger”) – properly, long-passion, patience, i.e. waiting sufficient time before expressing anger. This avoids the premature use of force (retribution) that rises out of improper anger (a personal reaction).
1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. (NKJ)
The emotion of gentleness is how we treat others.
The Greek word for gentleness is xrēstótēs (khray-stot’-ace) (“useful kindness”) refers to meeting real needs, in God’s way, in His timing (fashion). With the believer, xrēstótēs (“divine kindness“) is the Spirit-produced goodness which meets the need and avoids human harshness (cruelty).
Colossians 3:12-13 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do you.(NKJ)
The emotion of goodness is what do I get out of it?
2 Thessalonians 1:11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of what He has called you to do, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, (NKJ)
The emotion of faith says “Seeing is believing.”
Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]. (AMP) 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (NKJ)
The emotion of meekness is weakness. The Greek word for meek is praýs (prah-ooce’). Having strength under control.
James 3:13-18 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (NKJ)
The emotion of self-control is what feels right.
2 Peter 1:5-9 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. (NKJ)