Have you ever taken a bite out of a perfectly ripened peach that was hanging from a tree jut a short time ago? There is a certain stance you need to assume when eating a good peach, so the juice doesn’t drip all over you, but it may still run down your arm anyway.
Fresh fruit is beautiful, delicious, and satisfying. It can be juicy, too.
It matters what we believe, but it matters even more what we do. As commonly understood, belief is a mental exercise, or statement of opinion on issues of faith.
How we react to life’s circumstances, reveals a deeper level of belief that transcends mental exercises and opinions, revealing our true values and our truest self.
What we do reveals who we are. That very statement hurts as I think of some of the stuff I have done. Though, occasionally I got it right, and that was affirming. It all depends on my thoughts, words, actions, and attitudes in various situations. That is fruit.
There is a fruit checker, a way to see how our life measures up to a life that reflects the character of God. It’s called the Fruit of the Spirit. Here’s the checklist: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23.) These are all attitudes based upon deeply held values, revealed in the course of life, especially, in the stressful times.
When things get messed up in my life, this good fruit gives way to rotten attitudes, feelings, words, and actions. When that happens, I am a not nice to others, or happy myself.
It’s good to ask ourselves about how we are doing with the fruitful attitudes of the Fruit of the Spirit, and to also consider what others would say about how we are doing in these areas.
The Fruit of the Spirit is not only a good evaluation for ourselves, but a good way to gauge others, too. I know the dangers of judging and categorizing people, but there are times when a little insight into someone’s character will serve as an important clue for us. There are important occasions when we are neither judging people, nor categorizing them, but deciding rather, or not, to partner with them.
There have been many occasions that I have overlooked these clues, and thought, “but they are so talented,” or “ but they would be such a great addition to the group.” That kind of thinking always led to misguided decisions, and caused me pain and suffering down the road.
For what it’s worth, I long ago heard some sage advice: “Watch how a person treats pets and small children.” Those things reveal character, which is vastly more important than competence and skill. Skills can be improved, but character is a much deeper issue. Unpleasant circumstances reveal character. That’s when we get to see the fruit.
The Fruit of the Spirit is like a prism of beautiful refracted light that is revealed when the Spirit of God shines through our life.
Christians have overdone it on belief, and been found wanting for fruit.
Fruit is beautiful, juicy, satisfying, and leaves us with a great taste of who God is.
This article is part of a synchroblog on “Bearing Fruit.” Here are the other writer’s contributions.
Jeremy Myers – Good Fruits Are Not The Good Works We Perform
Mark Votava – The Fruit of Non Violent Communication
Carol Kuniholm – Fruit That Will Last
Clara Ogwuazor Mbamalu – The Importance of Success By Bearing Fruit
Done With Religion – Can We Produce The Fruit of the Spirit?
Pastor FedEx – How Do We Bear Fruit?
K.W. Leslie – New Fruit!
Leah Sophia – Stewardship Trilogy