By Pastor Bobby Schuller
“A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Thus, by their fruit you will know them.”
The Apostle Paul, when he’s writing to the Galatian church (in Galatians 5), he shares about the fruit of the Spirit, which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the qualities – the fruit – that the Spirit inspires in the lives of those following Jesus, those who become more like him.
Regarding our significant relationships, Jesus essentially asks us, “The people that are speaking into your life, do they remind you of me? In the way they act, and the choices they make? The way they treat their neighbor? Would you want to be more like them? If you were more like them, if you emulated their lives, if you acted like them, if you bore the same kind of fruit they bore, would you be a better person for doing so?
As we consider the people in our lives, some of us are thinking, “Oh, they’re so wealthy, so successful,” or “They’re such great preachers,” or “They’re such great communicators,” or “They’re so good looking.” But, what kind of fruit are they bearing? Are they loving and joy filled, peaceful, patient people? Well, no, you say? They’re kind of grumpy, legalistic, angry, vindictive, gossiping, greedy, lying. Nevertheless, they are quite attractive.
Listen, if you want to be more attractive and also more shallow, follow those people and then you’ll bear their fruit. If you want to be like Jesus, if you want to live a life that bears helpful, valuable fruit, if you truly want to be a world changer, a difference maker, then follow people that bear real fruit. For, “…by their fruit you will know them.”
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to live by your example. Help me to grow into an increasingly more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled person. Amen.
Reflection: What fruit of the Spirit do you reflect through the way you live your life?