Friday, January 9, 2015

Share a Bite

For all the work that goes into a Spirit tree, one might be tempted to think that the fruit of the Spirit is something you do in your life. That it's something you work for. That it's something you are ultimately responsible for. 

That's only half-true. 

While it is true that there is work for you to do in planting, nurturing, and caring for the Spirit tree in your life, never forget that it is only by God's incredible design that a tree produces fruit at all. It is His work, not ours, that creates the harvest. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is important because only God makes it grow. (1 Corinthians 3:7)

Which means that even though love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control look like things you ought to be doing for God, they are actually things that God is doing for you. And in you. And through you. God's making the fruit; you're only eating it. This means a few things.

First, it means that these fruit of the Spirit nourish you in some way. And if you've experienced them, to any degree, you know that this is true. Love makes you stronger. Joy makes you lighter. Peace makes you quieter. Patience makes you calmer. Kindness makes you sweeter. Goodness makes you breathe easier. Faithfulness makes you trust deeper. Gentleness makes you softer. Self-control makes you wiser. These things feed into you and make you the fullest, most solid version of yourself. They make you more of who you are, who you were created to be. They grow you in themselves until you are, manifest, the glory of God. What God is doing for you nourishes you.

Second, it means that you were created to enjoy the flavor of the fruit of the Spirit. It's supposed to be palatable to you. It's supposed to be desirable to you. It's supposed to be pleasantly refreshing to you. Have you ever met someone who looked like they weren't created to taste the good things in life? It's sad. I met a lady yesterday (in customer service; they always work in customer service) who looked like she hadn't been created to taste joy. She could hardly crack even a fake friendly smile, so firm were the lines of sourness on her face. She's been eating the wrong fruit! That's why her face is so puckered. She was meant for joy, even if she doesn't know it. You were meant for joy. You were meant to have an appetite for joy. For love. For peace. For patience. For all the good things God is doing in you.

And third, since the fruit is God's produce and not yours, it's okay to share it. You're not putting your profits on the line if you give a measure of the harvest away. You're meant to bake pies and arrange baskets and even make edible arrangements and share this fruit with your friends, families, neighbors, communities. Anyone who needs something satisfying to put in their lives, share your fruit with them. Invite them to taste what love, joy, peace...are like. Pop in a straw and let them drink the juices. Show them your Spirit tree if they're interested; show them how to plant their own. God has given you this fruit not just for yourself, but for your world around you. It's what He's doing through you.

So it's important to remember that the fruit of the Spirit isn't yours; it's God. He grew it. It's by His nature that it knows how to grow. It's the fruit of His Spirit wrapped around yours, and He's given you the harvest. Draw nourishment from it. Enjoy it. And give it away. That's what you are called to do.

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