But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:22-26)
We want fully-developed, eye-pleasing, scrumptious-tasting fruit. We want our spiritual lives to add beauty to the world and nourish those around us. But…
…fruit grows through seasons. Individual pieces of fruit grow to maturity at different times. Sometimes we want to shortchange the process of leading up to maturity, because it…takes…so…stinkin’…long.
Why can’t we just grow insta-fruit?
Because that’s not the fruit of the Spirit. That’s now how the Spirit works. He’s invested in our lives throughout its entirety across a variety of seasons.
As we grow fruit, we can’t just consider what nourishes and develops it but also what bruises and damages it. We can’t just ask ourselves what God might be doing in our lives that will develop our peace, joy, love, patience, and so on. We also need to consider what is robbing us of those same things. What needs to be pruned from our lives and attitudes? How do we need to rearrange our priorities?
The best fruit takes the very things it becomes: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control.