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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fruit (10/10/05)

TITLE: How Fresh is Your Fruit?
By Doreen Hammond


How Fresh is Your Fruit?

If you asked me that question the week before last, I would have said, it was perfectly ripe, firm and ready to eat. But up until last week, I had been pretty consistently reading and praying and taking care of my spiritual self. I had to be. Work has been very stressful and I really want to be a good witness. Then, came this last week that another lesson in humility was about to unfold. I would now have to say that my fruit has not just gotten over ripe, that would be from sitting out and not being used; my fruit has actually gotten squashed, stepped on and is practically unsalvageable.

Thank God, that He is able to distinguish the difference between the rotten and the salvageable pieces, you know, the parts inside that you canít seem to live with any longer? The parts that just make your life stink? Our attitude, our sarcasm and our language is supposed to be our witness for Jesus. The fruit of the Spirit is all we have to show the world, our Jesus; like a billboard. Sometimes I do a good job being a witness for Christ and I do encourage other saints in the area. Like iron sharpening iron, we encourage each other. Except last week, I was more isolated than I have been in a long time and it seems I was like a sheep separated from the flock for some reason. So, my fruit began to sit out and rot.

Last week, I was not such a good witness, but I think that the Lord uses times like these to show me what is really in my heart and what fruit I really need to prosper in my life and what fruit has gone bad. Sort of like a fruit salad, let love be the bowl, toss in some joy, stir in some peace, put it in the refrigerator for some longsuffering, top with some kindness, sprinkle some goodness and faithfulness and serve with gentleness and self-control. That is how our life is supposed to be, but not last week; not for me. I was good to get out of bed and get to work, let alone have peace. Actually, I was not in the refrigerator which is why my fruit went bad. Sometimes, rebellion comes in and I refused to participate in Godís plan. I had no longsuffering or self-control, or peace in my week.

I know that if I would just be still and let God work on me just a little bit, He could clean the rotten fruit out and make the ripe fruit prosper. Once the rotten fruit is cleaned away from the fresh ripe fruit, people are drawn closer to the Son which is the whole point in life anyway. I am thankful that God is gracious and forgiving and able to reconstruct, because only He can recover any ground that I lost last week and I know that it will be with the fruits of the Spirit that others are won to Christ and who knows, maybe someone needed to see the human side of me? Itís ugly, when itís squashed, stepped on and unsalvageable but when the Lord comes in to clean things up, things change and get ripe and firm and ready.

Ps 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! NKJV

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This article has been read 726 times
Member Comments
Member Date
D. Phenes10/17/05
Like the fruit salad refridgerator comment...
Made me laugh :D
Garnet Miller 10/19/05
I'd be interested to know what happened to make your week go bad? I have had days where my fruit was trampled underfoot at work. Sometimes we too get fed up with life and problems. We can vent, but we need to make sure that we are venting to other Christians and not people who would misinterpret our disgruntled attitude as a chink in our godly "armor". Thanks for sharing.
Julianne Jones10/21/05
I liked this line: "let love be the bowl, toss in some joy, stir in some peace, put it in the refrigerator for some longsuffering, top with some kindness, sprinkle some goodness and faithfulness and serve with gentleness and self-control." In fact I'm tempted to put it on my 'fridge so that each morning I can be reminded of how I should live. Some great thoughts here. Thanks for sharing.
Suzanne R10/21/05
Praise God that He cuts the bad bits out and doesn't just throw the lot away! Good thoughts. Thanks.
Anita Neuman10/21/05
Some explanation of what actually happened last week would've made me feel more connected to you here. But you did convey the lesson very well, and kept the analogy consistent throughout. Good job.
Phyllis Inniss10/22/05
I like the analogy and the way you used the fruit of the spirit in your bowl of fruit salad. I think this article was well done.