The fruit of the spirit’s not an apple.
If you want to be an apple,
You might as well hear it.
You can’t be a fruit of the spirit,
Because there’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self contro-O-ol.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self contro-O-ol.
Okay, in case you think I’m crazy (er), that’s a song that we sing with the kids in Bible class. It’s also a great way to remember the fruits of the spirit. In fact, the only way I can name them is to sing the song. (The same is true for the books of the Bible. I have to sing them.)
Galatians 5:22 -23 says, “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.” It is easy to just glaze over this list, but we can learn a lot from these two little Bible verses.
I used to feel guilty for not having the fruit of the spirit. I wasn’t faithful. I wasn’t gentle. I certainly wasn’t self-controlled. I lacked in all of the nine fruits. I wondered how I would ever live up to that list. I still don’t have all the fruits, but I realized something that eased my guilt. This list wasn’t meant to be a checklist of things we need in order to go to heaven. Instead, this list is meant to give us something to look forward to. The fruits are what we will develop as we live our daily lives as Christians.
New Christians are babies in Christ. They aren’t expected to know everything or do everything or be everything. 1 Peter 2:2 says, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.” As we study and learn, it only makes sense that we will grow. As we grow, we will improve, and before we know it, we'll be bearing fruit! We will never be perfect, but we can continue to improve through the grace of God.
Matthew 12:35 says, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” How do we store up good? Read Matthew 6:20. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” As we put value in heavenly things and as we fill our lives with heavenly things, we will begin to reflect heavenly things. We can’t help it. We are like little mirrors. We will either reflect good or bad, depending on what we’re looking at. As Christ fills our souls and we look to Him, we will reflect Him. With Christ, comes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
So don’t feel bad about not bearing enough good fruit. Instead, keep looking at Christ. Look at His life. Look at His works. Look at His words. Talk to Him. Listen to Him. Live your life for Him. Before you know it, you will be reflecting Him just like a little mirror! And through reflecting Christ, you will grow more fruit. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to be more fruity! -Al