We’ve been talking a lot about fruit this month. I live in Florida, and February is the month where fruit comes alive. The strawberries are monstrous, the oranges are fantastic, the tomatoes are delicious – February is fruit month for sure. It may seem weird for those of you that live in the tundra, but it’s gorgeous down here in February.
Today, I want to finish talking about our fruit tree, as in our very body that is the temple of the living God (1 Corinthians 6:19). Over the last few blogs, we have talked about many aspects of being a believer who produces ripe, lasting spiritual fruit. But one thing we haven’t discussed is what good fruit actually looks like and the impact it has on those around us. The way I see it, our hearts and thoughts grow our attitudes, words, and actions – aka our fruit. They determine if what comes out of us is good or bad. In Mark 7:21-23, Jesus says,
“Evil originates from inside a person. Coming out of a human heart are evil schemes, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, treachery, debauchery, jealousy, slander, arrogance, and recklessness. All these corrupt things emerge from within and constantly defile a person.” (TPT)
Evil thoughts will grow rotten fruit. Holy thoughts will grow good fruit. And the quality of our fruit – of our attitudes, words, and actions – will either attract people to God or leave them with a bad taste in their mouth.
The Apostle Paul writes that the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which lives inside you and me, is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). When you demonstrate these fruits in all areas of your life, people will notice… they are going to be left wanting more. This is our testimony, our witness to a world dying for a taste of who God is.
So, how do we ensure that this is the kind of fruit we are producing?
Simple. We must take good care of our tree – our body, mind, and heart. Because the reality is that good, healthy trees will naturally produce good fruit (even if it takes some time). This blog post on Good Fruit Starts at the Root is an excellent starting point if you want to find out more about how to do this!
When I look at my own life, I recognize a couple of fruits of the Spirit that I struggle with: gentleness and self-control. I often pray that people will see gentleness in me and know that I am a transformed person because, on my own, I’m not particularly known for my gentleness. This trait, this good fruit, is the evidence of Christ at work in me. In fact, my prayer is that before I meet my Savior face-to-face, everyone I encounter will know me and come to know Christ by my good fruit – especially gentleness and self-control.
What fruits of the Spirit do you want to produce more of in 2022? How can you cultivate a healthier “tree” in order to produce better fruit in the days to come?
Used with permission from Jim Brangenberg.