Cultivating Love in Our Lives

Leaning on the Spirit to develop us

We often speak of God being love, so it makes sense that as his followers, we should strive to be full of love as well (1 John 4:7-12). But loving others can be really difficult sometimes. Fortunately, we have the Spirit to help us.

Galatians 5:22-23 explains that when the Spirit is present in our lives, we will experience specific fruit. That is, when we allow the Spirit to work within us, he will develop this fruit in our lives. Compare the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5 with the description of love Paul gives in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Use the table for your own reference during your discussion. Consider: How are the different aspects of the fruit of the Spirit present in the description of love in 1 Corinthians 13?

Galatians 5:22-23 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love (The entire passage)
Joy Love rejoices with the truth (v. 6)
Peace Love does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs (v. 5)
Forbearance Love is patient (v. 4)
Kindness Love is kind (v. 4)
Goodness Love protects, trusts, and hopes (v. 7)
Faithfulness Love trusts and perseveres (v. 7) Love never fails (v. 8)
Gentleness Love protects (v. 7) and does not dishonor others (v. 5)
Self-control Love does not envy, does not boast, and is not proud (v. 4)

Debriefing Questions:

  1. What stands out to you from the comparison of these two passages? What surprises you?
  2. How do these nine aspects of the fruit of the Spirit demonstrate the all-encompassing nature of love?
  3. How does it make you feel knowing that the Spirit who lives within you is willing to produce this fruit in you?
  4. What steps are required to allow the Spirit to work in you? What step will you take this week to allow him to change you from the inside out?

free newsletter

Sign up for our free Small Groups Newsletter newsletter: Regular access to innovative training resources, Bible-based curriculum, and practical articles.


The Disconnect Between Assimilation and Spiritual Formation
Creating easier pathways to spiritual formation
Three Reasons You Need a Small Group, Too
Small-group ministry leaders can’t just talk about life in small groups—we need to be experiencing it ourselves.
Embracing the Unsatisfied Life
Building sustainable faith in your small group
Soul Care for Leaders
Everything you need to encourage healthy leadership in your ministry
9 Ways to Help Group Members Take Ownership of Problems
The struggle is real—and we have to own it if we want to change.
Us Is the New Me
Experiencing personal growth collectively.