A Fruity Reflection on Galatians 5:16-26

Jen Ervig   -  

*originally posted at asmymindunwinds.com 

Why Does The Bible Call it Fruit of the Spirit?

Do you ever wonder why the fruit of the Spirit is called that? I mean why fruit?

I like fruit in the form of Starburst or Jolly Ranchers, or in some pie! But even at that, I don’t like all fruit flavors! I mean if I have to have real fruit not paired with sugar and packaged in plastic, I suppose I’d choose an apple, strawberry or banana, but you better believe cherries and oranges are lower on the list; I can do without. AND…if there’s anything BUT fruit in the room, say a good candy bar, that banana shall be turning brown.

But can we do without certain “fruits of the Spirit” just because they’re not palatable to us? The Bible advises against it.

Join my crazy mind as I read Galatians 5:16-26, rephrase it in my own words and then attempt to make a life application.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

So, that’s the bible’s version. Now, my turn. 

So I say, eat your fruit and let it become a part of you, then you will not cave to your sweet tooth. For desserts and the desire for them want what is contrary to fruit and its nutrients. They’re in conflict with each other so that although you wish you could live on cake, you make yourself eat a grape every now and again to live. If you eat that grape, cake will not have the last word.

The results of dessert are obvious: tight jeans, high blood pressure, acne, sugar comas, fatigue, bathroom scales that mock you, and continual cravings to repeat the vicious cycle. I warn you as I did before, that those who live like this will roll right into their graves.

But fruit brings you looser waste bands, health, energy, a bounce in your step and a great energy for life! What could be against that? Those who belong to Christ have curbed their Hostess cravings. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with what’s good for us. Let us not become conceited, provoking others with cookies and envying their beach ready bods.

The Correlation – Maybe?

I think I get it. The fruit of the Spirit is what shows I’m a healthy representative of Christ and who He is. The fruit of the Spirit is proof that God is working in me. The Bible says in Matthew 7:16 that we are known by our fruit. Did you ever hear you are what you eat? Fruit reminds us of health and what’s good. Decadent desserts create a picture for us of what we desire but can turn bad for us fast. No wonder it’s not called the Little Debbies of the Spirit.

Of course some fruit tastes better than others ( love, joy and faithfulness sound way better to me and are easier to come by than gentleness and self control). Of course I’ll always reach for jealousy and selfish ambitions out of habit or because I’m wired that way (just like the candy bar sitting next to an apple).  But I NEED all of the fruit. And guess what? I don’t ever NEED one bit of a chocolate chip cookie (unless I’ve just given blood but that’s another blog article) Ha!

The point is this; I know dessert isn’t good for me. I know a life of decadence and cake will send me to the grave the same as a decadent life of sin, AND living life like that doesn’t mark what Christ has done for me! The only difference is that unlike sin, I’m okay to partake in a slice of of triple chocolate cake every once in a while.

That being said, we will be known by our fruit. Against the fruit of the Spirit, there is no law. We need to keep in step with the Spirit since we live by the Spirit. But, if you go on a cookie binge, don’t fret. You can just grab that nectarine and re-commit tomorrow. Just don’t make it a habit.