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CHARACTERISTICS OF FRUIT — Fruit of the Spirit — Part 8

Las Características del Fruto — El Fruto del Espíritu — Parte 8

by

Mary Hunt Webb

Posted Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A photographic image of a face made out of fruit.

As we personify the Fruit of the Spirit to others, we should do so with a sweetness of attitude. [Photographer: Klarissa Meyers. Photo courtesy of Stockvault.net.]

When we think of fruit, several characteristics come to mind. One of the first that we tend to think of is that most fruit is sweet. There are exceptions, of course, such as lemons, limes, grapefruit, cranberries, and tomatoes. You can probably think of some others as well.

As we apply this characteristic to the Fruit of the Spirit, we understand that as we demonstrate that Fruit to others, we should do so with a sweetness of attitude. You may recall that the Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 5:22-23 that, "By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things." (New Living Translation) These Fruits of the Spirit show that an inner sweetness exists within the person that has the Holy Spirit in his or her life.

Another characteristic of fruit is that it tends to be juicy. The juiciest of the Fruits of the Spirit has to be joy. A person with joy in his or her life can't contain it any more than a piece of fruit can contain its juice once it is cut open or bitten into. Have you ever eaten a piece of fresh fruit and had to wipe off its juice because it was dribbling down your chin? Have you ever squeezed a lemon into your tea or pushed your spoon into a half of a grapefruit only to have it squirt someone near you? That's what joy is like! Joy dribbles out of our lives or splashes onto others.

A photographic image of vitamin pills that resemble fruit.

Fruit contains vitamins and nutrients that nourish us in ways that pills cannot. [Photographer: Jack Moreh. Photo courtesy of Stockvault.net.]

Yet another characteristic is that fruit is nourishing and has nutritional value. Fruit contains a variety of vitamins, including vitamin C, as well as other nutrients. In order to keep fruit in our diet during the winter, I combine fruit juice during the summer with honey and gelatin and add fresh fruit. I then freeze it in small portions for both enjoyment and nourishment during the winter. It provides the benefit of summer fruit to help combat the illnesses that are so prevalent during winter.

In a similar way, the Fruit of the Spirit nourishes both the person who exhibits it and those around that person as well. To be loving, patient, kind, generous, faithful, and gentle to others will build them up emotionally and spiritually as well as physically. We help others grow and prosper when we exhibit those qualities.

Another way in which fruit is healthful is its ability to protect us. Many people think that the slice of lemon served with seafood is there to enhance the flavor of the fish. However, it has a more practical purpose. If a person accidentally swallows a tiny fish bone, he or she can suck on the lemon so that the acidic juice of the lemon will dissolve the bone. There's no need to avoid eating fish out of fear of the bones when there is an easy remedy.

Similarly, the Fruit of the Spirit protects us against the sharp dangers of the evils in this world. James 4:7 advises, "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (New International Version) Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control provide the means by which we can resist the enemy. When we exemplify these, then hatred, sadness, unrest, impatience, rudeness, stinginess, unfaithfulness, roughness, and lack of self-discipline have a difficult time existing in such an environment.

A photographic image of apricots.

Like these apricots, most fruit contains seeds, pits, or stones. [Photographer: Aka Maraqu. Photo courtesy of Stockvault.net.]

Still another characteristic is that most fruit contains seeds, pits, or stones. Many people dislike encountering seeds when they eat fresh fruit. Some small seeds lodge in between teeth or dental work. Others mght be swallowed accidentally. However, seeds are necessary for the continuance of fruit. The purpose of seeds is reproduction so that they will produce more fruit. Therefore, we must not despise the seeds that we may encounter. James 1:2-4 addresses this when it says, "2) Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3) because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4) Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (NIV)

As Christians, we have the opportunity to carry the Fruit of the Spirit to a malnourished world. If we feel we don't have that Fruit, we can ask the Lord to send the Holy Spirit to us so that we can share it with others. Like the fruit that grows on trees, bushes, and vines, the Fruit of the Spirit is for sharing!

BiBLE VERSES FOR THiS POSTiNG

Galatians 5:22-23 — 22) By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23) gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. (New Living Translation)

Gálatas 5:22-23 — 22) Mas el fruto del Espíritu es amor, gozo, paz, paciencia, benignidad, bondad, fe, 23) mansedumbre, templanza; contra tales cosas no hay ley. (Reina-Valera 1960)

James 4:7 — Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (New International Version)

Santiago 4:7 — Someteos, pues a Dios; resisted al diablo, y huirá de vosotros. (Reina-Valera 1960)

James 1:2-4 — 2) Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3) because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4) Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (NIV)

Santiago 1:2-4 — 2) Hermanos míos, tened por sumo gozo cuando os halléis en diversas pruebas. 3) sabiendo que la prueba de vuestro fe produce paciencia. 4) Mas tenga la paciencia su obra completa, para que seáis perfectos y cabales, sin que os falte cosa alguna. (Reina-Valera 1960)

A photographic image of the fruits of the Spirit.

The Fruit of the Spirit is for sharing. [Photographer: bknis. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com.]

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