I went shopping last weekend for the perfect centerpiece to display on my kitchen island. Previously I had carelessly thrown apples and bananas and other semi ripe fruit into a bowl and called it art or practicality. As I was browsing, I determined I would find fake fruit to put in the bowl instead to give off a more Martha Stewart vibe and less of an exhausted mom vibe. Something changed in me as I looked at the bags filled with decorative fruit.
I quickly began to realize the fake fruit would not work because it was too perfect and each piece was exactly the same. It was obvious the fruit was faking it. It may have looked perfect on the outside but fake fruit lacks everything that makes fruit, well, fruit. There is no gorgeous smell of fresh nectarines, crispy crunch of a perfect apple, unique stages and flavors of the ripening banana, and most importantly there is no sustenance. Isn’t it often like this in our lives when we try to fake the fruit of the Spirit? It may look beautiful on the outside but in time it will become obvious that it is purely decorative.
When we allow God to transform our hearts the result is beautiful, unique Fruit.
“The Spirit-fueled development of Christ-like character is liberating, because it brings us closer to being the people we were designed to be, the people our Spirit-renewed hearts want us to be.”
– Tim Keller
In a self-help world, it is freeing to know that I cannot become who God wants me to become by myself, by trying harder. I cannot simply decide one day to become a decorative fruit bowl and beat myself up until I am patient and kind and full of joy.
The original Greek word for “Fruit” in Galatians 5 is karpos, and one definition means “a result of something.” When the Fruit of the Spirit is displayed in our lives, it is a sign, or result, that we are being led by the Spirit of God. This is the best news! We can literally stop faking it or using willpower to try and possess all of traits we are “supposed” to have. God sent the Holy Spirit to transform us and the result will be far better than anything you or I could manufacture on our strength. My prayer for you today is that you will let go of the burden to try and fit into what you think you should be like and that you will be reminded to allow our Heavenly Father to transform your life and heart.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23