“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
“What goes in [will] come out.”Somebody somewhere with a slight twist by me
I recently saw a post on Facebook about a cup of coffee. In short, the post explained how if a cup of coffee is bumped, coffee spills out of it. You can put water in that same cup and when bumped, water spills out of it. The cup doesn’t change, but the contents can. Whatever you pour into the cup, that’s what will spill out when bumped. This makes sense. And it also makes sense for people, too! Whatever you fill yourself with, that’s what will spill out of you when bumped. There will always be bumps that shake you, bumps that spill you, and bumps that completely empty you. What comes out of you when bumped reveals a lot about you. It’s a clear indicator of what you fill yourself with.
Are any of you dairy free or gluten free?? If you are, you might know what I’m talking about. I should technically be 100% dairy free because I am lactose intolerant. But I still eat dairy. I loooove ice cream and I like a lot of cheese on my pizza. Eating the ice cream doesn’t seem like an issue, ya know? It tastes really good and it goes down so smoothly. The issue is once the dairy is digested. That’s when I realize I allowed a harmful substance into my body and I’m about to pay for this decision. Great, here comes the pain. Ugh. But I did this to myself. What goes in, even if it doesn’t seem harmful at the time, will indeed come out. This might be a gross (I know I’m so sorry) food analogy, but think about it as an analogy of the spirit, too. I think it gets the point across.
Did your mama ever tell you that what you put into your heart will spill out through your mouth? Mine sure did. She knew the importance of monitoring what we let into our hearts. You might think it’s okay to let hate into your heart just this once because that person definitely deserved it. Ooooh but beware, whatever goes in will come out eventually, just like dairy products. If you put hate into your heart, it might go down smoothly at first, it might even taste good at first, but once it’s in there and digesting, it doesn’t feel good. You feel worse than you did before. After the initial digestion, it might go away for a few days, but if that person tests your patience or pushes those buttons again, here comes the hate do do do do (to the tune of ‘Here Comes the Suns). You might have even forgotten you allowed the hate to slip into your heart, but your heart didn’t forget. You were shaken and the hate came out. Ruh roh shaggy. Now you’ve got yourself into a little predicament, don’t ya. You now look like the bad guy, you now have to apologize, and you might have even lost a friend. You feel bad. This can be prevented. It all comes down to what you allow into your heart.
What can we put into our hearts so that when we are shaken the good stuff comes out? I would like to make this a true daily double, Alex, because I know the answer thanks to Galatians – what are the fruits of the spirit !!?!!?!
Galatians tells us the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. When you tend to and water these fruits, they grow. If you don’t tend to these fruits, they won’t grow. If you’re full of these fruits, when bumped, you’ll be loving, joyful, at peace, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and you’ll have self-control. When you’re not filled with these fruits but instead filled with hate, impatience, selfishness, and other things, that’s what will spill out when bumped. One thing I’ve learned from working at a garden center is that the plants have to be watered every day or they will wilt and eventually die. Do you see where I’m going with this? If you don’t water your good fruits, they will wilt and eventually die, too. Each morning, you need to chose to water your fruits. The choice of which ones you water is up to you, but I would strongly recommend watering the fruits of the spirit. No one benefits from a hateful shaken person, not even yourself. If you’re hateful and bumped, you harm both yourself and those around you. It’s a lose lose situation. But if you’re loving and bumped, you can still be loving to yourself and those around you. It’s a win win situation.
I know I know, there are days when you wake up and you do not feel like watering your kindness plant. Maybe you’ve been especially kind to those around you lately and watering it would seem redundant. Water anyway! Don’t get off your game. Refusing to water your plant on a Monday might not seem like the end of the world. But come Tuesday, you might be shaken. You need to continually water your fruits so you’re prepared for the shaking and the bumping. In order to water your fruits, first you must examine them. You need to know which fruits you have in your heart. You don’t want to mass water your heart in case you accidentally water a greed weed. You need to examine carefully and water only what you intend to have come out. Has it been a long time since you examined your fruits? Have those around you seemed hurt or distant lately? Maybe it’s time to give your fruits some examining. Determine which fruits need to be watered more and which weeds need to be left to wilt and die. It’s a big step, but it’s a rewarding step for yourself and everyone you come into contact with.
And exactly how should we examine our fruit? Draw near to God by praying and studying his word. Ask God to reveal to you what fruit is well watered and what might need a little bit of TLC. Reflect on situations you have found yourself in and how you handled them. The reality is every minute of every day we are in a position to respond in a flesh filled way or in a spirit filled way. Begin now! Don’t wait until you’re bumped and shaken. Do it now while your cup is upright. Do it before the next bump so you can monitor what comes out. If you’re going to focus on the fruits of the spirit, don’t just focus on one. If you need to be more loving, more joyful, and more patient, water all 3 of those fruits. Don’t just water love and expect patience to flow out when bumped. If you don’t water patience, you won’t reap patience. So do a good examining. See which fruits are blossoming and which fruits aren’t. Pay close attention to the fruits of your heart and water accordingly. Girl, examine your fruit!