Are you producing fresh fruit?
A couple of weeks ago I was driving along the parkway and the car in front of me was moving at a slower speed than I wanted to go. It was 70 miles an hour and they obviously didn’t know where the gas pedal was. As I began to pass them, they then decided to speed up making it impossible to pass them. It absolutely infuriated me! I could feel my blood pressure getting a bit higher and my blood boiling through my veins. I was mad! My kids were also in the car with me and witnessed as their mother proceeded to say how stupid the person operating the vehicle in front of us was. It just ticked me off in that moment and I could not control my anger. Now I am usually a pretty calm individual, but I may have a small amount of road rage. So my point is that we all have those moments in our lives where we show the not so pretty things about us. But do we realize that our own actions influence others? I try my very best not to say words like “stupid” and in front of God and my children, I failed. In that moment, I was producing rotten fruit.
People are constantly watching our every move and especially watching those of us that are in ministry. It is often times hard to remember that every day you are an example and though none of us are perfect, we need to strive to be the best version of ourselves each day. We are human and we all make mistakes and we are not designed to live that way in our own power. It is only when we stay connected to God that our good characteristics flow more freely from our lives. Then we notice that we produce fresh fruit, but how?
We find that Paul the Apostle wrote in Galatians 5:22-23- But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.
So what Paul is saying is that the fruit of the spirit is the moral character developed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul expresses by listing the moral qualities produced by the Spirit that those who “live by the Spirit” will actually fulfill God’s requirements for his people. They are Godly characteristics that we should live our lives by. So what exactly do each of them mean by the word of God and how can we produce fresh fruit vs. rotten fruit?
LOVE- The word for love does not refer to the warm and fuzzy feelings that a person may make you feel. Love in this instance is a deliberate attitude of good will and devotion to others. The Lord gives freely without looking to see if the other person deserves it or not and does these things knowing the other person can not give anything back.
Question to yourself: Am I motivated to love and do for others as Christ has done for me?
JOY-unlike happiness, joy is gladness that is not dependent on our circumstances. Happiness is temporary, joy is long lasting.
Question: Am I experiencing joy in my life or temporary happiness?
PEACE-the presence of tranquility even while in the midst of total chaos.
Question: Am I focusing on turmoil and chaos going on around me or am I focussing on God’s peace that passes all understanding?
PATIENCE- the ability to endure ill-treatment that is given by others without lashing out at them.
Question: Are you easily angered?
KINDNESS– when you look for ways to meet the needs of others.
Question: Is it my goal to serve others or myself?
GOODNESS- this reflects the character of God. It is your desire to see good in others.
Question- Does your life reflect the desire to see others experience God on a deeper level?
FAITHFULNESS- Someone with real integrity and puts their full trust in God.
Question: Am I faithful to those around me?
GENTLENESS-meekness not weakness. Gentle people forgive others and try to live tranquil lives.
Question-Do you come across to people as headstrong, unteachable and or unapproachable?
SELF-CONTROL- our fleshly desires-choosing to be controlled by the Holy Spirit instead of ourselves.
Question- Are you the one driving your life or is God controlling the wheel?
When we follow the “FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT”, we produce fresh fruit!! So I pray today that you soak in God’s presence and ask him how to help you apply these fruits to your life and let God show you the harvest that is coming just by doing so. Have a wonderful week ya’ll.