Fruit. I’m all out of it at home so it’s on my grocery list: bananas, apples, oranges. Strawberries are on sale, so I might pick up some of those while I’m at it. It’s been one of those busy weeks, where fast food meals have been all too common….and when that happens, I start craving fruit. I just can’t look at another french fry.
But fruit is also on my spiritual list. For some reason, I’ve been thinking about the fruit of the Spirit, maybe because the edible kind has been on my mind.
While I was driving the other day, I made a mental list of the spiritual fruits out of Galatians 5 and came up with 8. Wait, I know there are 9! Let’s see:
Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, self-control, faithfulness……good grief! What was I missing??
Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, meekness….no, that’s another word for gentleness…..temperence…..wait, that’s self-control…..faithfulness….
That’s still only 8.
Now it was a challenge. Does that ever happen to you? Something that you KNOW you should know, and you DO know it, but you pull a blank. Think, Rachel, THINK!!
Love, joy, peace, patience….I counted on my fingers, lifting them off the steering wheel as I drove.
Did I have 8 or 9? Blast it, now I’ll have to start all over.
KINDNESS! That’s IT! OK, I admit it, I had to look it up when I got home. How could I have missed “kindness?” It’s soooo obvious.
The fruit of the Spirit. Nine characteristics that should be growing in abundance in my life. I’ve got fruit on my grocery list – that kind is easy to get. But spiritual fruit?? That’s another story. It is either “there – or not there” because it’s a result of my relationship with Jesus. When there is fruit lacking in my walk, it usually means that I’ve let myself drift from the Vine. Boy, that makes me mad! Oops, see what I mean??
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit…” John 15:5
So I made a little “spiritual fruit list” and I’m asking myself some tough questions.
Am I characterized by a joyful spirit, even when standing behind someone with 30 items in the Express Line?
Am I patient with others? See above.
Do I have have difficulty loving certain annoying people in my life?
Am I anxious, or do I have peace? This one worries me.
Are my actions and speech gentle, especially when “speaking truth” into someone’s life?
Do I lack self discipline – in my time, habits and tongue? Ouch.
Is my faith active, or is it f-f-f-faltering? Am I faithful, or simply half-hearted?
Do I see goodness in others, and in situations I’m in?
Am I kind to others, even when they don’t deserve it?
If I’m honest, I’ve got some fruit-growing to do. How about you? Let’s pull in close to our Savior and strengthen our roots in Him – so that His life will flow through us and produce fruit that brings Him glory.
Have a wonderful, fruitful weekend,
Which fruit is God cultivating in your life??