The moment I bit into the grape I spit it in the trash. It was mushy and flavorless. The rest of the grapes were perfection – so firm they had a slight crunch to them and oozing with juiciness. A few days later, I pulled that same bowl of grapes from the fridge to pack some in Steve’s lunch. I felt each one giving it the firmness test. Each grape that gave into my squeeze found a home in the trash. As it turned out, only a handful of grapes made the cut of those worthy of a lunch spot.
Rotten fruit isn’t appealing to anyone. It’s repulsive and brings no value or enjoyment. But a vibrant, healthy display of fruit makes one’s mouth water. The more we eat healthy fruit, the more we crave it.
At points in our lives, we are wise to test the fruit in our spiritual lives.
“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.” Galatians 5:22-23
How is my love? Am I critical of others or seeing the best in them because my heart is filled with the love of God?
How is my joy? Do I look around at what is wrong in my life or do I thank God for the gift of salvation and find joy in His love?
How is my peace? Am I filled with anxiety and worry, wrenching my hands wondering how it will all work out?
How is my forbearance? Am I enduring my circumstances well and allowing God to help me persevere or am I grumbling and complaining?
How is my kindness? Am I friendly, considerate – putting others before myself, or generous? Or am I crabby, pushing to the front or annoyed at the people around me?
How is my goodness? Am I growing in desiring to do good works. They don’t save me, but if I’m spiritually healthy, I WANT to do good.
How is my faithfulness? Am I reliable, dependable, a person of my word? Can you count on me? Am I steady and sure?
How is my gentleness? What is the tone of my voice? How are my reactions? What words come out of my mouth?
How is my self-c0ntrol? Am I controlling my urges – emotional and physical. Am I controlling my temper, my thoughts, my desires?
When I look at the spiritual fruit in my life, does it look like a banquet people are drawn to or more like the old fruit in the fridge waiting to be tossed?
What if we find our fruit is more rotten than ripe?
- Confess to God.
- Ask God to help you grow healthy fruit. Name the ones you struggle with most.
- Read your Bible daily. It’s how we grow in Him. If we aren’t in His Word, we can be sure our fruit will rot.
- Write scripture on notecards that apply to the various fruits of the Spirit you are focusing on.
- Pray. Stay connected to the One who loves us and wants the very best for us.