Does the main character of The Bronze Bow show the fruits of the Spirit?

For much of The Bronze Bow, Daniel struggles to embrace the fruits of the Spirit. At times he shows love and kindness to others, especially his sister, Leah, but he lacks much in peace, forbearance, and self-control. Only when Jesus heals both Leah and Daniel at the end of the book does Daniel fully show how the fruits of the Spirit have come alive in him.

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Before we talk about how Daniel, the main character in Elizabeth George Speare's The Bronze Bow, does or does not show the fruits of the Spirit, we need to define the fruits of the Spirit. St. Paul lists these in Galatians 5:22–23 as “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

At the beginning of the story, Daniel is lacking in the most of these. His focus in on driving the Romans out of Israel, and he is a member of a band of outlaws led by Rosh, who it turns out is not the greatest influence in the world. Rosh steals from his fellow Israelites and actually does little in the way of anything useful, but Daniel is so full of vengeance that he stays in Rosh's band. It takes meeting Joel and Thacia to reawaken some old feelings in Daniel.

When Daniel goes back to his village to care for his sister, Leah, and run Simon's blacksmith shop, we see him growing in the fruits of the Spirit. He learns how to be kind to Leah and gentle with her damaged psyche. He learns how to deny himself for her good.

Daniel is still hot headed, though, and when he directs his anger at a Roman solider (instead of showing necessary forbearance), he is badly injured. Joel and Thacia must nurse him. Around this time, Daniel also meets Jesus and is drawn by Jesus's teaching.

Daniel continues to struggle with expressing the fruits of the Spirit even though they are growing in him as he plans and carries out a rescue mission to free Joel and as he works as a blacksmith and cares for Leah. Yet Daniel still lacks peace and self-control, for he is still nursing his bitter anger against the Romans. When he finds out that Leah has been seeing a Roman soldier, all the progress he has made in love and gentleness and kindness seems to fly out the window. He is harsh with Leah, frightening her so badly that she returns to her silent misery and then becomes deathly ill.

Realizing and repenting of his temper and its consequences, Daniel turns to Jesus. Thacia brings Jesus to Leah, and Jesus heals her and Daniel as well. The fruits of the Spirit now flow abundantly into Daniel, and he realizes that he has interpreted his vow all wrong. As evidence of his conversion, Daniel runs out of the house and finds the Roman soldier, bringing him to Leah so that he can say goodbye before he leaves the area. Daniel has found peace at last. He has let go of his anger and hatred and embraced love and joy and kindness. He has found faith in Jesus and has become gentle and good, showing forbearance and self-control in a way he never has before.

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