Thursday, April 18, 2013

"Real Deal" Fruit or Counterfeit Fruit?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22-23)

For nearly twenty years, I have lived on the beautiful tropical island of Bali, Indonesia. One of the really, really nice things about living here is the vast variety of interesting and delicious fruit that is available here. 

In Ohio, we could get apples, peaches, and strawberries. I used to enjoy the bananas I could buy at the supermarket. Believe it or not, I used to actually love to open up a can of Dole chunk pineapple and eat the whole thing. 

After tasting the bananas and pineapple I can get fresh from the market in Bali, I went back and tried one of the bananas from the Ohio supermarket. What happened to the taste? I shudder now to think about eating a can of pineapple chunks...unless, of course, it is in a Jello recipe. After tasting fresh pineapple picked when actually ripe, the canned stuff tastes like medicine.

Then, of course, you have all the delicious, more exotic fruits - mangoes, jackfruit, dragon fruit, custard apples, rambutan, snakefruit, starfruit, passion fruit, mangosteens, durian. OK, OK, let's delete durian from that list. I never have developed a taste for the "stinky fruit". (Besides that, for the purposes of this next series, I only need nine types of fruit. Durian is number ten in my list, so it's outta here.)

Over the next few posts, I'd like to take a look at the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5. The fruit of the Spirit is not like supermarket bananas that are picked when green, and lack the sweetness and flavor that bananas ripened on the tree have. It is not like canned pineapple that is so full of ... other stuff...that it tasted a bit like medicine unless combined with something else.

The fact is that if we are living in connection with the Spirit of God in our lives, His fruit will be produced in us. When God's Holy Spirit grows this fruit, it is the real deal - full of flavor, sweetness and satisfying goodness. 

As we work our way through each of these fruits, we will consider what the real deal looks like, as opposed to the poor imitation that the world likes to substitute in its place.

In the next post, we will look at love. What does it really look like? What does the world try to put it it's place? A big topic, to be sure, and one we will be able to cover entirely, but we'll make a start. I hope you come back.

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