Good fruit from good fruit trees
I didn’t feel good after the previous piece about sin. Exposure doesn’t make one feel good. It’s not nice to have to go and sit in the corner and shine the spotlight on the sin in all the dark places in your life. It’s not nice being confronted at every turn by all the bad things you’ve done in your life.
Bit it is necessary. It is necessary to plan your life as a child of God every day. Then we can better distinguish between the things God plan for us and the things He doesn’t want for us. Then we can purposefully sidestep the wrong turns and through the efforts of the Holy Spirit bear better and more fruit.
In the next couple of verses Paul describes the fruit that are born by the person who walks God’s road. This is a challenge for each of us: 21… But what happens when we live God’s way? 22He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard …
Someone once said we should tell others about God and use words only when necessary. Our behaviour towards others must show them that we are different. They must be able to see that our family is different. By what we do other people should see our totally different Father.
What do people who bear good fruit and who allow the Holy Spirit to control them look like? They have:
· 22… affection for others. What else would one expect from Paul? Love for other people is the most important. When you put others first, you’re already halfway to winning!
· 22… exuberance about life. When you realise what God has done for you, when you love others, joy and life flow from you. I struggle with this. Sometimes I completely miss the bus when it comes to peace and joy. Maybe I’m trying to carry too much and give too little to the Holy Spirit.
· 22… serenity. True Christians not only know about God’s peace, no, they have it. It’s part of their lives. However, it doesn’t simply remain a mind thing, it becomes part of how they experience life. And that is why others can see the good fruit.
· 22… a sense of compassion in the heart. The Holy Spirit must work really hard with this one, because I trip over this one so easily. I quickly jump on my high horse when things don’t go as I want them to and before I know it love has left the room and people see a side of me that’s not so nice.
· 22… a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. Are you the magnet that attracts others or pushes them away? Do you always smile despite the way you feel inside? Even if people are rude does your friendliness wipe out their negativity?
· 22… involved in loyal commitments. Again love for others, but this one is a do fruit. You have to get off the couch and start doing something. You must start sharing fruit with others who don’t actually deserve it!
· 22… a willingness to stick with things. God is faithful. We can trust God that He will never fail us. Do you believe it? Or are you also keeping a back door open? If you can trust God through thick and thin, others will see it in your life and know that they can count on you as well.
· 22… not needing to force our way in life. You cannot bear fruit if you put yourself first. You must target the other one with his or her needs. Love for others!
· 22… able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. The fruit of self-control. The Spirit has to help us with this, but do we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in our lives? Sometimes it’s just too good to take the wheel ourselves.
I’m missing a couple of fruit.
I can only pray: Lord God, Holy Spirit, please help me! Help me, because the fruit on my tree isn’t good enough!
Read verse 22 again and make up your mind…
Holy Spirit, please take control of my life, because I’m not managing on my own. All too soon the own self rises up again. Now I want to surrender my life again, because I too want to bear good fruit. Everywhere, every day, but on my own I’ll never achieve my goals. Amen