When we abide in him, God grows spiritual fruit
Now that I’ve learned that the fuel-foods we eat can significantly affect our “maturing” bodies, I’m more conscious of healthy foods when buying groceries. Fruits are some of those health foods that I put on my priority list.
Several years ago, I was given new insight into another kind of fruit — spiritual fruit — the fruits of the Spirit as I had called them. Make that fruit. That was my new revelation in a familiar verse. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are one Spirit fruit, all growing in a singular, quite amazing fruit.
I still remember my shock when I realized that I don’t pick and choose the “fruit of the day.” I’m to exhibit all of these Christ-like qualities as a lifestyle!
Love is the first bite in this beautiful fruit — love for God, my friendly neighbors and even the protestors who shout vulgarities to Christians.
When love begins flowing through our thoughts and actions, joy just seems to want to join — like the joy at grands’ birthday parties, the singing of Christmas carols and being caught up in a moving worship experience.
Peace is a quiet corner with an open Bible and a fresh cup of coffee, or a clear conscience at the end of a day, or His presence on the way to the emergency room.
Patience is repeating a response twice to Othel (in a gentle tone) and waiting in a slow checkout line with a smile and a thankful heart that I have the luxury of a stocked store and checkout line. It’s praying with faith for a friend’s salvation and not worrying about God’s timing.
Kindness is sharing flowers and warm sweets, smiling at strangers and picking up your spouse’s newspaper in the floor with an “as unto the Lord” attitude.
Goodness is obeying the Ten Commandments and living a life of disciplined prayer and Bible study. It’s being last in line on purpose, and saying, “I’m sorry” when you need to be.
Faithfulness reminds me that the world rates by success, but God sees our faithfulness in the consistency of our small and large attempts. It’s gathering and preparing a “remember” craft for a five-year-old Sunday School class, knowing that the craft may not make it past the kitchen garbage.
Gentleness manifests itself in a patient, kind mother tending to her infant or a soft answer to a harsh comment. It’s a mother’s cool hands on her child’s fevered face or a grown child’s sympathetic response to an aging parent.
Self-control is reaching for the coupon that’s expired, then smiling; holding your tongue and not saying, “I told you so,” or trusting God to answer your prayers instead of turning to the world for solutions.
Imagine seeing that fruit and the flavor it would add to our lives and to others when we share it. It’s challenging but possible through God’s vine principle. When we abide, God grows the plural fruit.
Letters to Camille Anding can be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602, or e-mailed to email@example.com.