SHARING IS CARING

There is sometimes confusion in Christian circles when we talk about “fruit.” You may hear the term applied to pastors whose churches are growing. People may say that they are bearing “fruit.” But Galatians 5:22 makes it clear that the fruits we are to bear are of the Spirit, and that they are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. Fruit is not necessarily increasing converts or memberships, though that will certainly happen sometimes when the real fruits of the Spirit are on display.

The interesting thing about this list of fruits is that they encompass a wide range of responses to human experiences. Joy and patience are two examples. When we are practicing patience, we don’t often think of being joyful in the same breath. The same with practicing self-control. It doesn’t necessarily FEEL peaceful.

But as Pastor Lawrence pointed out Sunday, within the body of Christ, at any given moment there are those in need of different fruits. And fruit is meant to be shared! Some may be sorrowful, and with them we share gentleness and kindness. Others may be experiencing happy circumstances, and with them we share joy. In all things, we should be practicing faithfulness, to one another, and above all to God.

So as we finish out this week, with patience, perhaps, as we wait on the weekend (:p), let us not forget to cultivate, and then share the fruits of the spirit with others! Then, as we are faithful, God will bring the increase!

1 Comments

  1. Rafael on June 21, 2024 at 10:57 am

    I just wanted to share something I discussed with my small group a few months ago:

    Old Testament scholars will be quick to point out the challenge of translating chesed (pronounced KHEH-sed). In the nasb, we see it translated lots of ways: lovingkindness (Gen 24:27), loyalty (Hos 6:4), loveliness (Is 40:6) and mercy (2 Sam 15:20). Chesed doesn’t mean lots of things. But we need lots of English words to circle around a concept for which we don’t have a word. Chesed is “a kindly-loyal-merciful-faithful-(the-sort-that-shows-up-in-actions) kind of love.” Certainly chesed is important—even if English doesn’t have a word for it—both for understanding the Bible and living the Christian life. This isn’t merely an English problem. Paul struggles for a Greek word to describe the fruit (singular) of the Spirit. He describes it as a “love-joy-peace-patience-kindness-goodness-faithfulness-gentleness-self-control kind of fruit” (Gal 5:22). Paul is not giving us a list of various fruits, from which we may pick a few. Rather, he gives us a list of words that circle around the one character of a Spirit-filled life he is trying to describe.

    Richards, E. Randolph; O’Brien, Brandon J.. Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes (pp. 74-75). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

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