“Sir, do you have any white peaches?” I asked.
“No ma’am, they aren’t in season. Come back in June,” the produce manager replied.
White peaches are my favorite fruit. What’s yours?
There are approximately 2,000 types of fruit around the world, so you have a lot to choose from. Sometimes fruit is crunchy, sometimes soft or juicy, but they are all good for something.
AND one fruit can serve multiple purposes. Oranges, for example, provide Vitamin C, fiber, potassium and choline, all of which are good for your heart. And did you know that if you put oranges into a fruit salad, it stops apples from turning brown and their juice makes grapes plump?
Just like natural fruit, the Fruits of the Spirit are ALL good and necessary for a healthy spiritual body. Yet, they’re all different.
Here they are:
And unlike natural trees, you can bear more than one type of fruit. You can be a spiritual fruit salad!
Displaying these fruits may be difficult at times, but with God’s help, it can be done. Practice makes perfect, so keep practicing so that you may become perfect in Christ. Spiritual fruits are given to us so that the church can function effectively and grow stronger. Just like oranges, fruits of the spirit can serve more than one purpose, all of which are good for your heart.
Recently, a sister in our branch presented a lesson on Fruits of the Spirit. The lesson was so well done that I asked her if I could use excerpts from it. (I never want to take credit for something I didn’t write.) I hope that you enjoy the following highlights from the class!
Fruit of Love
Think of someone who loves you no matter what. You can make mistakes and it doesn’t matter what you look like, but they still love you. God loves us, too, no matter what. He wants us to love the lovely and the unlovely, as well as those who are our enemies, despitefully using and persecuting us. Love knows no limits.
A new commandment I give you: Love one another, as I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-35)
Fruit of Joy
Joy is being happy inside even when things aren’t going great. Joy comes from knowing God can work out our problems, no matter how difficult.
There is a big difference between JOY and happiness. Happiness is earth-based. Joy is God-based. It is knowing for a certainty that if we endure to the end, then we will have eternal life with Christ. Success and wealth, or a new house or car might bring some happiness, but none of it will produce Joy like Jesus gives. Happiness is not about getting all we want; it is about enjoying and appreciating all that God has given us.
Fruit of Peace
When we think of peace, we usually think of no more fighting or war. But the peace of the Spirit is different. This is the peace that comes over us when we get to know God really well by reading the scriptures, praying, attending church, and more.
How to maintain peace? “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts” (Col. 3:15). If we let the peace of God rule our hearts, sin will be kept at bay. We will feel a calmness inside and know that God always forgives us when we ask. To have peace with God is contentment.
Fruit of Gentleness
This fruit fosters kindness, calmness, and graciousness. It calms troubled waters, settles turmoil, and heals strife. Is it easy to be kind to someone who has hurt you? When God gives us this gift, it becomes easier. Let’s look for gentle ways to help others in need, both naturally and spiritually. Sometimes one kind deed to someone else is all that’s needed for them to remember that someone special loves them.
Fruit of Goodness
This fruit exercises acts of godliness. Cultivating goodness means God can depend on us to be honest and turn away from bad things. This goes beyond the boundaries of natural goodness. Goodness is possessing good qualities and good morals. The only true goodness we have is the goodness of God living in us.
Fruit of Faith
Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen (Heb. 11:1). It is confidently trusting that God’s will is going to be accomplished in spite of circumstances and appearances to the contrary.
Being faithful is keeping promises, being a loyal friend when times get tough, being trustworthy and doing the things we said we would do, especially the promise we made to the Lord. God fulfills all of His promises, and we must do the same.
Fruit of Meekness
Meekness is submitting our will to the will of God. It is being aware that others also have shortcomings and sensitivities just as we do and using tact and consideration in our approach to others. Be humble, patient, mild, and submissive. Meekness is NOT a sign of weakness. Just treat others in a gentle way, as Jesus would.
“Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)
Fruit of Temperance
This fruit means demonstrating self-control, both in what we say and do. It takes self-control to react calmly instead of acting out in anger. To be able to live the way God wants, we have to be in control of the things we do.
All of these fruits are ripe for the taking! Help yourself to as many as you want. The juice from your love can help keep your brother’s and sister’s fruit from turning brown or soggy.
Now go on your way and be the best Spiritual Fruit Salad possible!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.