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June 11, 2012 / windlessly

Picking Your Fruits of the Spirit

It’s amazing how much you can learn from little children. I volunteer at my church leading a small group of 2nd and 3rd grade boys in a bible lesson, and it’s incredible to me how keenly they pick up on certain ideas. We’re sitting there, learning about the fruit of the Spirit, when suddenly one of the kids pipes up about how self-control is the most important because they need to use it everyday, and often whenever they play. Five minutes earlier he had been playing dominoes and he was able to connect the lesson to that, which shocked me in a way. And it got me thinking… self-control certainly is important, but there’s no way that any one fruit of the Spirit could be “more important” than the other. God says to love Him above all else, and that love is His first and greatest commandment, so I suppose it makes sense that love is listed first. And I don’t think the order of the fruit is randomly chosen- it makes sense that if a person loves at all times, he or she will experience joy. And you can say that a joyful person has achieved some sort of peace in their lives. With peace comes patience. And then comes kindness, goodness, and so on, all the way until self-control.

I love reading Galations 5:22-25. The imagery of fruit is strong, representing cultivation and a sense of lifestyle. It suggests reward, growth, investment, beauty, among many other things. I mean, I love eating fruit too. How can you look at a picture like this and not go “yum!”?
 But naturally, fruit has to be grown and picked. The fruit of the Spirit won’t just appear in your life unless you choose and strive to live by them. Certain ones will be harder to adopt for different people. Personally, I struggle with self-control (the self-discipline part particularly applicable for me now as a lazy second-semester senior entering summer vacation) and peace, to have a still and restful heart. I’m always worried or stressed over something when I could be just entirely devoted to loving God. So there you have it: fruit=yummy. Fruit of the Spirit=just as tasteful as real fruit, if you can “pick” it.

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