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Fruit For Thought

Fruit tree for your designMy beloved sister Amy makes a delicious fruit salad. New Year’s Day was no exception. As I was riffling through the bowl of plump, juicy fruit tossing aside the maraschino cherries in search of the favored strawberry and mandarin orange, a thought occurred to me: Is this how I behave with my spiritual fruit?

“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 NIV

Sometimes it’s easier to be kind than patient or to be gentle but struggle with self-control. The Bible teaches us that Christians are known by the good fruit they produce. Therefore, avoiding less favorable fruit isn’t an option. So, how was my fruit, and more importantly, how did it appear to others? Was some of it immature, bruised, or even rotten?

Although I feel I had a pretty good year, I most definitely stepped on a banana peel a time or two. Perhaps you can relate.

Love – Showing love to someone you feel has been unkind to you isn’t easy. And honestly, who says, “Have a nice day” after writing a traffic ticket?

Joy – Ever had a credit card declined?

Peace – Rush hour traffic sure can be exasperating, but how about when it’s raining and the driver’s side automatic window gets stuck in the down position.

Patience – The convenience of drive-thru banking isn’t nearly so convenient when you’re stuck behind someone who needs a pen, a deposit slip, and a date with the teller.

Gentleness – I’m so glad there wasn’t a Jesus bumper sticker on my car when I cut off that Mercedes to avoid missing my exit.

Self-Control – Did the lady at the checkout really mean anything by saying, “You are over forty, aren’t you, lady?”

Kindness – Don’t you just love telemarketing? Does slamming the phone down in someone’s ear really accomplish anything?

Goodness – This incident involved a young woman standing outside a department store with a bell in her hand, a scarf around her neck, and an icicle on her nose. Avoiding the bell-ringer . . . at Christmas?

Faithfulness – Then there was the class on discipline and self-control that I failed to be disciplined enough to faithfully finish.

These aren’t the proudest moments of my life, but I am pleased to announce that as I have grown in my walk with the Lord, so has my fruit. What was deposited in me as a seed when I received the Holy Spirit has sprouted, grown, and even ripened. Even though my garden is in pretty good shape, I still need to feed it with the Word of God, prune away what needs to be removed, and weed it on a routine basis.

This reflection of the past helped me decide on my New Year’s resolution. This year I am determined to strive to consistently produce good fruit and to be more aware of the actions that can reflect poorly on my faith. Now, please pass the whipped cream. Today’s fruit will certainly be sweeter—one way or another.

By Laurie Cervantez

Edited by Christian Services

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