BY REV. JENNIFER HESEBECK - EXCELSIOR UMC & FAITH COMMUNITY CHURCH
A little boy went over to a pastor's house, where the pastor was doing some carpentry in his garage. The boy simply stood there and watched him for quite a long time. The preacher wondered why this boy was watching him and was finally so curious that he stopped and said, "Son, are you trying to pick up some pointers on how to build something?"
The little boy replied, "No. I am just waiting to hear what a preacher says when he hits his thumb with a hammer."
Often, we will find out what we are made of by what comes out of our mouths — in both good and bad circumstances. When we have a change in conduct and character in our lives, it is a type of spiritual fruit.
Galatians 5:22-23 says: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control …"
A Christian's life should be characterized by these things. Are you producing fruit? Or is the opposite true? Instead of love, is there hatred, bitterness, or even prejudice in your life? Instead of joy, is there constant gloom? Instead of peace, is there turmoil? Instead of patience, do you find your fuse shorter every day? Instead of kindness, is there pride and arrogance? Instead of goodness, are your conversations tainted with worldly language, immoral tendencies, or gossip? Instead of faith, is there endless worry? Instead of gentleness, do others find it difficult to be around you? Instead of self-control, are you a victim of your own passions, temptations and cravings? If so, then either you don't really know God at all or a recommitment to Christ would be in order.
If you are a Christian, then people should be able to look for—and find—fruit in your life. Because a disciple of Jesus Christ will produce spiritual fruit.
Jesus said: "'My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father'" (John 15:8 NLT). Jesus also said, "'By their fruits you will know them.'" (Matthew 7:20 NKJV).
What we do and say, how we look and act … Can others identify spiritual fruit in your life? Remember, people are watching you. They are listening to you. They are waiting to see if you're any different than the rest of the world. I hope that you are pointing them to Jesus Christ.
May the fruit of the Spirit be produced within us, that we might bear it — share it — in His name …