It was so good to be back in what I’m starting to call my church after a few weeks of traveling. Expecting a sermon about fathers, I was pleasantly surprised to hear him speak about the fruits of the spirit.
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Often when I think of these fruits that are supposed to be evident in my life, I get self critical because they don’t seem evident enough, but that’s a misconception. Yes, I can always strive to have more of these in my life and work to keep the weeds of my fleshly desires out, but these fruits don’t just pop up.
In the society in which I’ve grown up in, it’s easy to fall into the fast and quick mentality even when I approach spiritual matters. That’s not how God often works though. He calls these fruits because just like fruit on a tree, they take time to cultivate. I have to water and feed them with his word and weed out the fleshly works such as envy and jealousy.
Just before listing these fruits by which Jesus says we can be judged the author reminds us that there is a battle between our fleshly desires and spiritual desires. In my little flower garden there is a battle between the flowers I’ve planted and the weeds that pop up. If I give food and water to the weeds in my life, they’ll quickly take over the fruit, but if I cultivate these fruits, they’ll grow strong and be appealing to God and others.
So what do I do when the fleshly weeds start to sneak into my life? One option is to despair and give them power. Another option is to speak truth to them much like weed killer “speaks” to weeds. I remind myself that Jesus has already defeated these desires and sins. Since I have a relationship with him, they have no power over me unless I let them.
Praise God that through him I can continue to cultivate the fruits that show His Spirit is working in me.