Lately, I’ve noticed something lacking in our home… well, a few somethings, to be honest. Patience and kindness seem to be in short supply, as well as joy and self-control.
And peace… yes, peace doesn’t exactly describe our home at the moment, either.
I’m not just talking about the kids who live here – I’m talking about this mama, too. I’m not seeing much evidence of the spiritual fruit that should be produced by the heart of a Christ-follower who is abiding in the Vine.
It’s a red flag, really, that something is amiss.
Have you ever tested your spiritual fruit? Held it up to the Lamp, the faithful Word of the Lord?
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
In my bible, beside this passage I have written two small words: The Test.
Do you want to know if you are walking with the Lord? Examine your fruit! Do they pass the test? Or are you striving to produce fruit all on your own that just aren’t quite holding up?
All too often I find myself trying to produce these spiritual fruit all on my own. I wake up in the morning thinking, I’m going to be patient with my children today. I’m going to be kind and loving to my husband. And later in the day, when strength runs low, I feel frustrated and out of control. I wonder, “Why am I acting this way? What is the matter with me today?” as if some sort of spell has come over me, and I’ve been rendered incapable of obedience.
In truth, my fruits show that I’m not out of control, but I’m off of the vine. I’m not abiding, not remaining in Christ. Instead, I’ve chosen my own path, my own methods, my own power.
I’ve chosen doing rather than being, resisting rather than submitting, striving rather than resting.
I’ve somehow forgotten that most basic truth of Christianity, that we cannot produce spiritual fruit on our own, for there is nothing good in us.
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh;for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.Romans 7:18
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2Timothy 3:16-17
Matthew 11:28-30“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (emphasis mine)