But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. Against such there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23
One of my favorite healthy foods to make is a fruit salad. It’s so simple to make too; wash, peel if needed, and cut up a variety of fruit. Then mix them together with a little bit of jam to keep certain fruits from browning. I like a combination of apples, blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, grapes, and melons. The tastes and textures of the fruits mesh together in a way that is delicious and refreshing.
Have you ever thought about where the fruit you eat comes from? It has to come from somewhere, right? It doesn’t just magically appear at the grocery store or farmer’s market we buy it from.
The fruit we enjoy is the result of someone’s hard work. Farmers took the time to plant, water, fertilize, and harvest it. The fruit comes from the work of their hands, the knowledge and wisdom they’ve gained over years of doing the work, and the resources they put in to their crops.
The fruit of the Spirit is the same way. it doesn’t just appear in our lives. We don’t wake up one morning just magically full of joy or self control out of nowhere. Someone had to put their time and energy into growing it. That fruit is the result of someone’s blood, sweat, and tears. The work of someone’s hands.
The Hard Work
So, who is doing the work of growing the fruit in our lives? I believe this is a two-part answer. The verse above out of Galatians gives us the first part. It says “the fruit of the Spirit is…” The Holy Spirit is doing the work in us. And that is all thanks to the work Jesus did on the cross for us.
If Jesus had not restored our relationship with God, then the Holy Spirit could not live within us and work in us every day. The blood, sweat, and tears of Jesus allows for us to be in the wise hands of the Holy Spirit now.
God is perfectly capable of doing a miracle in us and and creating a fruit of the Spirit out of nothing, however He doesn’t usually in this case. We have a part to play in our growth as well. We have work to do.
Our work will differ from person to person, and from fruit to fruit. Some of us have a personality that makes for easy growth in certain areas, and more difficult growth in others. Where we are in our walk with God will be a factor as well.
The Importance of the Fruit
While growing in the fruit of the Spirit may not be easy, it is very important for those who follow Christ.
For one, God wants us to be like Him. (John 13:13-17, 1 Peter 1:16, 1 John 2:6) God is perfect in love, joy, peace, and so on. So as we grow more and more like Him, we will grow more and more in the fruits of the Spirit.
Secondly, in Matthew 7:16-20 Jesus says that people will be known by their fruit. He is specifically talking about false prophets in this case. I think the same could be said for teachers, pastors, and Christ followers in general. If we are producing these good fruits, it will be obvious that we belong to Jesus, because there is no other way to be fruitful in all these areas! We can then live a life of example to non-believers, and to those who are young in their faith.
Finally, there are scriptures in the Bible that specifically tell us to walk in a certain fruit. For example, Matthew 22:39 tells us to “love your neighbor as yourself.” In several places, including Titus 2:5, we are taught to have self control. Colossians 3:12 tells us to clothe ourselves with kindness and gentleness. In order to fulfill God’s mandates, we have to be producing the fruit of the Spirit.
We can safely conclude, then, that the fruit of the Spirit plays an important role in how we interact with other people, and in being obedient to God. They come together in our lives like a beautiful and refreshing fruit salad, “tasting” like the goodness of God and representing Him well.
Because growing in the fruit of the Spirit is such a large topic with so many factors involved, I have asked for the help of some knowledgeable fellow bloggers to teach it. Their posts will be published twice a week for 5 weeks (that schedule includes this week and this post). Be sure to visit each of these Wednesdays and Fridays to learn about growing in the fruit of the Spirit from these wonderful Christian ladies!
Which of the fruits are you most interested in learning more about? Which area have you seen the most growth in recently? Let’s chat in the comments below!