“By their fruits you will know them.” Mt 7:20 NKJV
When we speak about “the fruit of the Spirit,” we are talking about these nine qualities of character: “Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22-23 NKJV). These fruits are not for “show,” they are for sharing with others; otherwise they’re no better than fruit that was never grown in the first place. Suppose you drive up to a roadside produce market with your heart set on buying fresh vegetables. You see homegrown tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and several varieties of peppers—everything you need and more. Just as you start to select your items, the farmer who owns the stand says, “Sorry, this produce isn’t for sale. I just like to grow it and enjoy looking at it until it rots. Then I throw it away.” Huh? Now you likely haven’t encountered such an absurd situation, and probably never will. That’s because farmers and customers know that produce is for consuming. Sure, it’s beautiful to look at, but its God-ordained purpose is to bring nutrition and health to people. If all we do is go to church and preach about fruit, analyze fruit, and examine each other’s fruit, we are failing miserably. It’s not enough to bear fruit, we must share that fruit with others so they can be blessed and impacted by the kingdom of God. Paul writes, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Eph 2:10 NLT). Bearing fruit and sharing fruit are two sides of the same spiritual coin.