Our God is the God of abundance. And His fruit is an example of that.
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.
- Galatians 5:22-23
I’m a wanna-be plant lady.
I tried for years to grow beautiful flowers in the yard, funky fruit trees in patio pots, and healthy vegetables, fruits, and herbs in my garden or sunny windows.
It went well… until it didn’t.
Tiny buds I was sure would turn into tasty fruit or blooming flowers, shriveled and fell to the ground. I’ve since come to terms with the fact that any plant I try to cultivate for flower or fruit production will soon die.
Not that I don’t want to grow healthy, vine ripe tomatoes or cute lemon trees in a pot on my patio … I would love that. However, my lack of time and energy invested (not to mention knowledge of plant production) is too limited to abundantly bless my dinner table or beautify my front yard. (So I’ll stick with the indoor hard-to-kill snake plants and ivy vines, thank you very much.)
The term “fruit” in scripture and in everyday life signifies a sort of overflow. Overly healthy, if you will, or overly blessed. I’ve always been fascinated with the truth that our God is a God of abundance, and His fruit is the perfect example of that.
The Fruit of the Spirit is a product of our nature.
A product cultivated from the God who dwells within us. Fruit only grows when the branch is grafted in, and it’s firmly attached to the vine.
Just like gardening in our backyards, Paul points out in Galatians 5:25-26 that there is an aspect of cultivation involved when it comes to the fruit of the Spirit. It is not mindless or automatic — we must actively cultivate the fruit of the Spirit by keeping in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)
How do we do this?
We abide. When we abide in the Spirit, we know from John 15 that we produce fruit because we are attached to the Vine. Good fruit — the fruit of the Spirit — is healthy and abundantly blesses those it feeds.
We are grafted into the living vine, which produces fruit for others around us. This fruit is an overflow of God’s love … the fruit overflows into the world, not just for us personally, but for others. Because other’s can see and sense that fruit.
Fruit that is colorful like love, joy, peace, and patience.
Fruit that tastes sweet like kindness and goodness.
Fruit that nourishes like faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Fruit that abundantly blesses.
So instead of killing our own gardens, let’s allow the Spirit to produce His fruit. Let’s abide in His Word and His presence.
Now that is the type of plant lady I definitely will strive to be.
Are you trying to earn the fruit of the Spirit?
How might abiding with Jesus be a more "productive" use of your time?
How have you seen God's fruit overflow in your life when you are abiding with Him?
Kristin Funston is a Christian women's speaker and the author of the book, "More for Mom: Living Your Whole & Holy Life." She encourages women in a way that is relatable and practical, with a healthy dose of humor, helping them to embrace their current season and experience God in the everyday. Read more about Kristin here.