Just Peachy: Fruits of the Spirit
I wish we could sit across the table from one another, sipping on crazy amounts of coffee and snacking on freshly sliced peaches, while having this conversation:
I’d ask how you are and when you’d ask me, I’d likely respond, “I’m just peachy!”—LITERALLY!!!It’s peach season and we have an abundance of peaches growing on our peach tree this year in our backyard. They’ve been ripening at different times over the past few weeks which has been nice because what I consider a “rare delicacy” has lasted just a bit longer than in the years before!
I absolutely love this tasty fruit, from its sunset shaded color with velvety soft skin—to the benefits of its nutritional value, offering an assortment of vitamins and minerals.
According to dr.axe.com the peach is a high-antioxidant food with anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties which makes it a great (additional) resource for fighting disease and promoting a healthy immune system.
I also love that they’re such a versatile food. We’ve been eating them right off the tree for a quick snack or dicing them up over top of vanilla yogurt or hot oatmeal.
We’ve made peach pie, peach crisp, peach smoothies, and we’re fixing to make peach ice cream..we’ve canned them, froze some with a little lemon juice to use year round, and made peach jam in the past as well.
Last week I even tossed some firmer slices into my salad along with berries and nuts, fresh spinach, and then drizzled Italian dressing over it..that might seem desperate but for any of these peaches to go to waste would be the “pits” (lol) so I do try and get creative, and it was actually really yummy.
We’ve also bagged and boxed dozens and passed them out to several friends, family members, and neighbors too, and the kids have been so enthusiastic about sharing them.
During our peach harvesting we make sure to select the best looking peaches from our tree: plump and juicy, medium-size, round, ready to eat, ripe peaches…at times some of them have a slight defect but are still salvageable enough, just needing the defective part removed, making the rest of the peach edible.
Inevitably there are those that have become too soft, bruised, or bug infested, so they’re of no use—they’re disposed of, thrown out to the birds who even sometimes are appalled by their appearance therefore avoiding them altogether. The bottom line is, many of them just aren’t good quality peaches, they don’t make the cut, and can’t be used, plain and simple!
Regarding spiritual fruit, I’m reminded of what John the Baptist’ taught in Matthew 3:10, “Even now the ax of God’s judgement is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”
What John the Baptist was saying was that we, as followers of Jesus, need to be producing a harvest of good deeds—just like good produce is expected from the gathering of a fruit or vegetable crop at its harvest time. When we’re not producing good fruit, so to speak, we can be compared to unproductive trees whose branches bear bad fruit. Those trees are cut down and thrown out.
The bad fruit on a tree represents sin in our lives. Paul writes in Galatians 5:19-21 mentioning some of those (bad-fruit) sins, “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealously, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.”
I’ve personally dealt with some of those bad fruits in my life, and chances are those of you reading this have also experienced some of them.
Consider how quickly fruit rots; it doesn’t take long for it to go bad. When it starts as just a small blemish we can typically cut out the bad part and save the rest, but left unattended the blemish becomes larger and ends up contaminating the entire piece of fruit, sometimes even affecting the nearby fruit it’s touching. The same is true for sin (the bad fruit)—at its beginning stages it may be unnoticeable but eventually it grows until it’s person (or tree) has little to no control over it.
Thank the Lord we have a Holy Gardener who can handle and clean up our bad fruit…In Galatians 6:24 Paul points out that, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there.”
This doesn’t mean we won’t ever struggle with those sins again, but what we need to know is that we must commit our lives to Jesus. Our sinful nature (or bad fruit) needs to be placed at the cross DAILY so that we’re bearing only good fruit in our lives.
That good fruit should look the fruit of the Spirit which Paul describes in Galatians 5:22-23a, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” …As followers of Christ this is the good fruit that should be abundant and bountiful in our lives.
When we accept Jesus into our lives we receive the Holy Spirit, and we must continually allow the Holy Spirit to live, grow, work, and cultivate in us. The result is a harvest of good fruit—perfectly produced through God and I think that’s “just peachy!”
What kind of spiritual fruit is being produced in your life? Is it good fruit or bad fruit?
Is God the gardener over the spiritual fruit being produced in your life? If not now, then when will you allow Him to be? ..Don’t end up like the tree with bad fruit, cut down, and thrown into the fire of hell.
“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” -Matthew 12:33
“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” -John 15:8