Fruit of the Holy Spirit
It is officially 2021! Most of us are busy taking down Christmas decorations and making new years resolutions and reaffirming commitments for the year. What was the most amazing gift you received this Christmas? The Fruits of the Holy Spirit are gifts and serve as a guide to living life as a Christian in its fullest. Choosing to exhibit these fruits in our lives allows God’s light to shine through us in our day to day actions.
Time for Harvest
When I think about the term harvest, I am reminded of a time during first grade when my teacher taught a lesson on growing tomatoes. This memory is so clear to me because I remember staring at my plastic cup weeks later, halfway filled with dirt, wondering why in the world my tomato seeds weren’t brave enough to sprout. Even my best friend’s cup showed some growth. As a first-grader, it was clear that I did not fully grasp how much work, time, and energy growing and harvesting fruit required.
You do not need to be an expert in farming to know that harvesting is a skill that involves a holistic understanding of several disciplines. From the amount of sunlight to the nutrients in the soil, the water absorption rates to the time and place a particular seed grows best in the Earth, the act of harvesting anything does not happen on accident, but rather through intentional labor and consistent nurturing.
Paul the Apostle writes in Galatians about a different type of fruit that requires harvesting. In fact, he talks about nine! When we study the term fruit, it is clear that fruit does not always mean the physical form of a sweet, juicy treat dangling from a tree. Sometimes the term “fruit,” when studied in its Greek form, could mean progeny, profit, result, action, or deed.
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
These nine attributes highlighted in Galatians 5:22-23 are known as the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. Those who choose to walk with the Holy Spirit, as their guide are said to have these nine fruits living in and through them. Though rooted in soil more nutrient-filled than the soil in my first-grade attempt at farming, the concept of harvesting these fruits are not far from the lessons I learned from growing tomatoes during my early education. These Fruits of the Spirit, too, require hard work, nurturing, and patience.
“He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.” Proverbs 10:5
This scripture reminds us that God wants us to go through the process of harvesting our Fruits of the Spirit. Galatians 6:9 also encourages us that the work and time we put into nurturing the soil and providing nutrients that our fruit require for growth will not be ignored by God. In fact, it will be celebrated!
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
A Guide to Living Life as a Christian
The Fruits of the Holy Spirit are not to be confused with the temptations of the flesh. Paul uses this contrasting concept earlier in the text of Galatians, emphasizing the stark differences between them.
Producing good fruit in our lives is an act of faith and obedience. For that reason, each week for the next couple of weeks, we are going to dive into what these Fruits of the Holy Spirit mean and how understanding them increases our faith, improves our relationship with God, and increases our trust in the Holy Spirit to work in and through us each day.
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