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rotten fruit

November 6, 2007

I bought some peaches for baby food over the weekend. Decent peaches are in short supply in November, so I was thrilled to find them. When I got home, I cut into them and discovered that they were all rotten around the pit. Even though they looked beautiful on the outside, they were rotting from the inside out.  

I think most of us are familiar with Galatians 5:22-23:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

As long as I’ve been a mother I have longed for that verse to be true in my life. I’ve always felt that I will be complete as a woman and as a Christian when all of those things are a part of who I am. I can start at the top of the list, check off a few, and then realize that I come up painfully short. Every time I read those words, I am left thinking “what is wrong with me?” I try and try to make my fruit look like that verse, but sooner or later a challenging situation will reveal what is on the inside.

Last night a friend in our book club discussed this verse. She graciously pointed out that the fruit of the Spirit is not something we can accomplish. The fruit of the Spirit is just what it says: “of the Spirit.” It is not the fruit of my nature, and it never will be. No matter how hard I try to be good, I will always fail. The fruit of my efforts will always be shown for what it is.

Instead of focusing my efforts on being gentle and kind and patient, I need to focus on letting the Spirit of God fill my life. I need to put my fruit down the disposal and let the fruit of God’s Spirit have the space out on the counter.

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