I’ve been thinking about and wanting a lot more fruit lately. Maybe it’s because I’m trying to cut back on sugar and fruit is naturally sweet. Maybe it’s because it’s summer time and in the hot Arizona summer fruit is cool and refreshing. Maybe it’s because cherries are almost in season and I love cherries! Whatever the reason, I’ve been feeling a bit “fruity”. I really do love so many different types of fruit. Some of my favorites are cherries, strawberries, apples, oranges, cherries, pineapples, bananas, cherries, watermelon, cherries, well you get the idea. There’s so many to choose from! And they’re not just tasty, but they’re good for us too!
Not too long ago, I was kind of on an apple kick. Not any one particular kind of apple, but I was really enjoying many different apple varieties. Some were tart, others sweeter, all were crisp. They were yummy! Right now I have melon in the refrigerator - both cantaloupe and watermelon. Mmmm… What I really want though, what I’m waiting for, are cherries. Oh sure, there’s a few bags at the store, but they’re not really all that good yet and are way too expensive. But the time is coming very soon, that I will have cherries a-plenty. Yeah!
Thinking about all this fruit has led me to thinking about the Fruit of the Spirit. We all bear fruit in our lives. Meaning the characteristics we display. What fruit are we displaying? The Bible tells us we are known by our fruit. Just as a tree is identified by the fruit that grows on it, we are identified by our actions.
I’ve read the Bible a few times, and I know that the Fruit of the Spirit is listed in Galatians 5:22-23. I even have a plaque of the Fruit of the Spirit in my kitchen. So I know what characteristics make up the Fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Pretty simple, right? Well I guess if you’re just reading a list, then yeah, it’s pretty simple. But what about trying to live them out? That’s a bit harder, isn’t it?
So here I am, examining the fruit in my life. Yikes. If I were to be totally honest with myself, and with you, I’d have to say my fruit needs a bit of tending to. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-Control. Yep, all of these need some work. This task could be a bit daunting. I can already feel my flesh starting to bristle at the thought of my working once again to put it to death. I know this is not a destination, so much as it is a journey, but it’s time to start moving along that path again. I know I’ll never be perfected in this life, but that doesn’t alleviate my responsibility to grow and improve while I’m here.
In this, I’m comforted in knowing that I am not alone. Once again, God will work with me, lovingly, joyfully, peacefully, patiently, kindly, faithfully and gently. Hmm, isn’t it wonderful that He gives us Himself to model after? I am so thankful that though I fail him, often it seems, He loves me anyway and is always ready to forgive me. He never gives up on me. Sometimes I don’t know why, but I’m thankful that He doesn’t.
I intend to examine and write about the Fruit of the Spirit, one characteristic at a time. I hope you’ll join me on this journey, and maybe even tend to some fruit of your own. I’m sure the Lord will speak to us and bless us for our effort.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” ~ Galatians 5:22-23
(C) 2008 Tracy Keck
14 hours ago