Galatians 5:22–23 (NKJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

When I think of fruit, I think of the rich aroma of a ripened apple. Have you ever been in an orchard with trees laden with fruit? Have you ever smelled the rich aroma of ripened fruit ready for harvest? I still recall climbing the hillside with my grandfather to visit his small apple orchard, smelling the grasses crushed beneath our feet, catching on the breeze the both the scent and the sounds of the orchard. I can hear the bees buzzing, the cattle crunching the fallen fruit, and the aroma of the apples …

Like the physical fruit of an apple orchard, the fruit of the Spirit is rich in its appeal. The richness of harvesting the fruit of the Spirit fills us, relieves our hunger for things of this world. The Spirit provides love and joy more abundant than any fruit laden tree, and peace beyond description. Patience and endurance are harvests that our souls need. From these fruits we can share the harvest of kindness and goodness with all whom we meet. We are faithful in our actions and words to be representatives of Christ. We find within us a gentleness that enables us to face the strongest opposition, trials and tribulations with a strength greater than man alone knows.

From this harvest of Spiritual fruit, God provides us with an ability to restrain our very human natures, which is self-control. This necessary characteristic enables us to enjoy the full dimension of the flavor of all the other fruits. Each of us has some aspect of our lives over which we struggle to exercise self-control. It may be our temper, an inclination to gossip, an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or even overeating. We each struggle through our own will power to overcome these issues. However, as I have personally come to realize while we can work at changing, true change does not come until we surrender our will and willfulness to the higher power of God to take control. We each have to choose to search the Word of God for guidance in dealing with our personal self-control demons and put God in charge. Each time we struggle we turn to prayer. Each time we succeed we give thanks. Each time we fail we turn back to God and get forgiveness and begin anew.

Choices. It all comes down to choices. I can eat the brownie or I can talk with God. I can lose my temper over the small and irritating things or I can love God and the other person more. I can change if I choose to exercise the strength of the Spirit to do so. Take it moment by moment, Word by Word. Eat of the fruit of the Spirit and not the fruit of temptation.

 

Author:  Lea A. Strickland, MBA CMA CFM CBM GMC
Copyright ©2012 Lea A. Strickland
All Rights Reserved

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