How to Bear Fruit

“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. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:22-26)

 

As Mom & I were picking raspberries this morning, I told her about how I dreamed last night that there were 2 1/2 scrumptious looking strawberry pies in the fridge. (Unfortunately I woke up before getting to eat any!)

I’ve always been fascinated by the fruit of the Spirit passage, and even more so after a conversation with mi mamacita awhile ago. I remember her saying something about how that fruit will be a direct result of following the Spirit. If we truly live by the Spirit, the fruit won’t be something we have to drum up  – it’ll come naturally. Not that it’ll all come flowing perfectly all the time, since we are still struggling humans. But it’s such a challenge to me to strive to live by the Spirit more and more… and the more I do, the more my fruit will blossom and ripen fully.

[blackberries from last July]

I can’t help but observe good fruit and character in people around me… so many good people all around to follow and observe and be like! They’re not perfect people, but they all reflect in some way the Jesus that we all follow.

Oh, to be generous like the lady at Jillian’s Salon last night who met me at the door (dye still glistening wet in her hair and eyebrows) and gave a $5 tip just for the simple act of running her food right down the street to her.

The faithfulness and dedication of Grandpa Vilas & Grandma Mabel to their Lord wows me. I want to be like that when I’m 87 years old. 😀

I love watching the young mothers at our church with their children… even when their young ones act up in frustrating ways, they still maintain patience and gentleness with them. (I realize that they would probably say that they’re not perfect and fail at it, but I think you’re all doing a great job!)

While talking to my cousin on the phone last night, the zeal and boldness of their youth group’s city outreach trip really struck me. Why don’t we go up to people and ask them how we can pray for them? Why don’t we move outside of our comfort zone more often?

I saw joy and freedom reflected in the eyes of a lady who shared her testimony with a group of us down at the South Carolina prison crusade. She is living in prison, yet she has so much more freedom than a lot of people who are physically free.

The inspiration of a friend who is giving the pen of her love story to Jesus and striving to live in purity and self control blows me away. She has blessed me over and over again, and encouraged me so much! (Don’t give up dear!)

And the ways I see people love? Endless!  I see it shown as a brother shares his life story on Sunday morning and all his fellow brothers gather around to pray for and support him. I see women doing their very best to respect their husbands. I see young couples with starry eyes, learning how to care for each other. I see love when people hug each other and feel the other one’s joy and pain. Yesterday I saw a young man sitting in a coffee shop and caring enough to listen to whatever was troubling the girl with him. I see my parents sacrificing and giving so much of themselves to take care of their family. There is love shown through sweet cards in the mail and food taken to overwhelmed people and smiles at weary souls.

Not to mention the peace and patience and goodness and kindness shining in eyes and lives and hearts! I would SO LOVE if some of you people reading would comment with ways you’ve seen the fruit of the Spirit manifested in the lives of people around you!

[hint hint… pretty please with a cherry on top??]

 

[Dad, wait til you see the grapes! They’re TWICE this size now!]

Go out and bear some fruit!

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4 thoughts on “How to Bear Fruit

  1. I love your examples, they’re so stirring. This post is so rich with meaning (and I’m smiling at your dream)

    It’s clearer and clearer all the time to me how much recognizing the fruit- the results of our choices- is the feedback that many of us search for. The fruits hang on and we stare at it and don’t see the connection back to what we chose or what we continue to accept as true.

    I was just reading this passage in Gal. this morning and then I saw you wrote about it here so it feels doubly on my mind. The lists of results are there for us to study to recognize the fruit we’re seeing.

    We chose between our downward bent of self-preservation or our upward pull of spirit. Flesh or spirit? Choose one way- what resulted? Choose unbelief and doubt, what resulted? Choose to believe even though we couldn’t see proof, what resulted? Which fruits ripened. Maybe one reason we fail is from our ignorance of what flesh and spirit looks/feels/sounds like in us. We’re not sure which we followed. The fruits clue us in. Stories of people’s choices and results in scripture are full of clues.

    For the lady in the hair place- her choice of generosity resulted in which: life or death in you? Also it nudged you toward writing about a whole basket of fruit being displayed on here and I suspect she went home with a measure of joy and contentment and she probably didn’t even know why.

    These choices are constantly here all the time, whether we’re deliberately conscious of it or not. My choice to take time to write this will result in what? It’s not always simple but worth trying to see the connections.Then there’s the whole thing of allowing God’s Spirit to join with our spirit for fruit that lasts…

    Btw, that raspberry picture especially warms my heart

    Like

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