Not one for bragging, but I really want to tell you all about my very charming middle son Ethan. Ethan has a very unique wee personality; he has the most gigantic compassionate heart. He loves clear, direct instructions and thrives best when he is in routine. Not to mention his dashing good looks and wicked sense of humour that mixes in well with his dry wit to make him very entertaining company. Now please don’t think I’m painting him as some model child because he can model disobedience as well as the next teenager, believe me, and there have been many many consequences to tell the tale. Ethan is very unique though in the way he carries a little bit of joy around with him and just leaves a wee deposit behind him everywhere he goes. On a wet, windy Monday morning, he did just that as I was dropping him off at his bus stop at 7.45am; quite the opposite to his two brothers who are most definitely not morning people. Ethan wakes with a bounce every morning and leaves a little splash of joy all over the place as he goes.
Now as desirable as this morning zest for life is and yes a lot more people could do with displaying it, that is not the point I’m making.
I was sharing with my connect group about how Ethan’s morning joy always leaves me feeling a little more uplifted in the morning. Then I got to thinking about how joy is a fruit of the Spirit. In Galatians 5 we read,
“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Galatians 5:22-23 MSG
I’m left with no doubt that this same exuberance for life Ethan has is the fruit of the Spirit. Gifts are given to him by his loving Heavenly Father. And just like it says in the passage, these fruit are similar to the fruits that appear in an orchard. And just as these fruits from the orchard carry seeds from which new fruit can grow, Ethan’s fruit of the Spirit carry little seeds which he deposits everywhere he goes.
So it got me thinking, how do I deposit my little fruit seeds as I go?
Even more to the point, it got me thinking do I even display the fruit?
I do, I’m sure of it, this is not a time to try and be modest. I do have joy and peace and love, and I’m faithful and so on.. in almost all situations. Ek!
But do I leave a little seed where I go? I have had to wonder that maybe sometimes I’m too concerned about other people’s perception of me to leave my fruit seed.
Confession time, I’m a chronic over-thinker and approval seeker. Yes! it’s something that I’m working on but certainly not a battle I have overcome just yet. I am constantly analysing how others may be perceiving me and more often than not feel like I need to adjust my behaviour accordingly.
I know this is not the life God created me to live. I’m not walking in my true identity, and this is not the life that is most honouring to God or me. It is a constant battle against my own flesh to not give in to the urge to seek approval from others.
So my question is this.. do you carry the Fruit of the Spirit?
How do you deposit your fruit seeds?
And if not, why not?
‘Lift up a great shout of joy to the Lord! Go ahead and do it—everyone, everywhere! As you serve him, be glad and worship him. Sing your way into his presence with joy!’