Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Serving up the Fruit

Galatians 5: 22- 23:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

At Eastside Apo's Saturday night service this week Clive Smit made an off handed comment about serving up the fruit of the spirit to those around us. This shouldn't be a massive revelation, but it suddenly dawned on me, the fruit of the spirit is served up to others.
We (or maybe it was just me?) think of the fruit of the spirit as something we should get, something we should acquire but actually the fruit of the spirit is what we serve up to others. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try to be more filled with the fruit of the spirit, it just moves the focus not on what I should put in my life, but on how my life affects others.

Who benefits when you show patience, love, self-control, etc? Sure there is some benefit to me in that it might grow me or save me from upsetting a friend but the one who really benefits is the person I am patient with, the person who doesn't get a tongue lashing because I showed self-control.

No wonder there is no law against such things! The Fruit of the Spirit are first and foremost gifts to the world.


Dan B said...

Hey James good to see you still do stuff here.
Just came to check it out I haven't for a while.

Anonymous said...

Great realization James.

Each of the gifts is relational in nature. It's about our interaction with others.

In 1 John 4 it says that God's love is made complete in us when we love one another.... it's all about others.

James said...

Thanks Dan and Frank.

I love 1 John 4, I can't help but think of a quote from a book (which you probably hate).

"It's not about you!"

Great thoughts, Thanks for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it!

Cat said...

Hey James,

Was talking to Dave H about the fruits recently too - on a completely different tangent mind you - and the idea came up that when we first become Christian a lot of the fruit evident in our lives is the result of grace - God's grace allows us to be loving and gentle and kind in difficult situations, it give us the grace to let things go when we would normally do otherwise etc. The further into our walk though the more fruit should be a result of growth in our relationship with God and ripened through increased maturity. This would be the sort of fruit that will be of more lasting effect...

Just some thoughts anyway


James said...

Thanks Cat,

Yeah I think that the analogy of fruit ripening is a good one. The time we put into pursuing our relationship with God, learning about him, serving others etc. Is ripening fruit of the spirit within us. We are then able to share it with those around us.

Good thoughts,

- James

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