I’ve participated in studies on the fruit of the Spirit many times. I had to read and re-read today’s study passage a couple of times, and have a couple of conversations with the Lord, before I could decide how to title today’s posting. I thought at first I’d title it “Ripe or Rotten Fruit.” That just didn’t seem to resonate with me. I don’t know why. It just didn’t.
So, I read the passage again from several different translations. I thought, hmmm, I know…”The Fruit Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree.” My daughter’s Facebook posts about the escapades of my grandchildren came to mind and how she uses her various talents and skills as teaching examples for the three children. She will post pictures with her and one or another of the kids working on some project with a caption about that child being her “mini-me” or “intern” or “office assistant” or “sous chef.” I’ll read them and smile, then reply back with a compliment to her such as , “The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
But still… nope…not quite the right title either.
So, as I sat here in the kitchen; the Lord and I struck up a conversation.
Me: What then, Lord? What do You want me to title today’s post?
Him: Look at the fruit bowl on the counter. What do you see?
Me: Huh? Uh, fruit?
Him: Ripening Fruit.
Me: Ripening Fruit? Ripening Fruit? Ripening Fruit! Oookaayy…if you say so. I trust you will give me the words to write.
Him: You know I will. Take the scripture line by line tonight and reflect on it.
This is what I was given.
Galatians 5:22-26 Amplified Bible (AMP)
22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,
(I became fertile soil when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and received the Holy Spirit. Seeds from His fruit are planted in my heart, life and soul.)
23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence)…
(Lord, you know I still struggle a great deal with that last one.)
…Against such things there is no law [[a]that can bring a charge].
24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires.
(Hmmm… like a compost pile of rotting peelings and yard clippings? Slowly, with daily tending, it becomes fertile soil capable of producing fruit.)
(A seed produces fruit from which it comes. I, like a branch grafted onto a mature vine, should produce the fruit of the vine from which nourishment is received.)
26 Let us not become vainglorious…
(I don’t remember ever seeing that word before. Let me look it up….Ohhh….excessive self-importance,…Vocabulary.com said this about it, “If you admire yourself in the mirror all the time and constantly brag about all the beauty contests you have won, you might rightfully get accused of being vainglorious. A vainglorious attitude is not very likable in a person and can be annoying to be around. Vainglorious people are vain, excessively boastful, and have swelled pride. The base word, vainglory, dates all the way back to the 14th century and means “worthless glory.”,,, Humph, I know several folks like that...makes me have to put into practice some of the “fruits” that were previously listed.)
…and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another.
(Well, I can’t say I haven’t been perceived as having some of these traits once upon a time.)
So, the conversation picks back up…
Him: Look at the fruit bowl again.
Him: You see a bowl of oranges, right?
Me: Yes. So?
Him: Is one any more important that the other? Do they not all contain the same kind of seed?
Him: If there is one that’s not quite ripe yet, what do you do with it?
Me: I leave it in the fruit bowl, and care for it until it gets ripe…..Ohhhh, I get it. I’M your ripening fruit.
Him: he smiles
Heavenly Father, I just love how you love me. All throughout the bible, you give examples of the fruit of the Spirit. Thank you for showing me grace, allowing me time to ripen, so I too may produce seeds of love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Father, help me to show others grace as well as the fruit of the spirit ripens in them. In Christ name I pray.