Tag Archive | Fruit

Dangerous Patience

Gal 5:22-23 (ESV) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

While we as Christians are called to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit, we won’t ever display them perfectly.  Only the Lord can display the fruits of the Spirit perfectly.  We struggle and must strive to exhibit fruit.  Some have trouble even having a little bit of fruit to show.  But others can have overly generous rotten fruits.  Did you realize you can actually exhibit too much of a fruit?  To where it becomes sin?

Consider “Joy” how could joy be corrupted by displaying too much or displaying it incorrectly?

What if you are talking with a grieving parent over the loss of a child?  While we can still be encouraging and place our hope in the Lord and His goodness, too much joy exhibited can be hurtful.  We are told to grieve with those who grieve. (Romans 12:15)  That doesn’t take away our internal joy but just maybe it should be tempered with compassion and grieving with others.

How else might we corrupt the fruits of the Spirit?

Here is a post that will help you consider if you display corrupt rotten fruit.  Click the link to read the whole article.

Is Patience Dangerous? by Ed Welch

 …

Patience can be passive

If we know anything about ourselves, we know that we are not perfect. We expect to have a long agenda for growth and change. Patience, however, tends to just sit around and wait. It has a keener vision for other people’s sins than it does for one’s own sin and weaknesses. This makes it a hopeless goal because it lacks furvor for daily growth. Instead, it waits to be “tried” by people or events.

Patience can be silent

Along with the smug self-righteousness that can seep into patience, another problem is that patience offers no compelling reason to speak with the other person. Patience tends to be silent, and, especially in close relationships, the last thing you want to do is be silent when the other person is being sinful or even irritating. If we are bothered by something that has happened in a relationship, our kingdom instincts should be to speak about the matter in a way that is humble and edifying. From this perspective, I would be so sad if my wife or friends were “patient” with me.

Patience without a willingness to speak openly and in the best interests of the relationship is cowardice, even hatred.


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Trying to Turn Apples In To Oranges

Most of us as Christian parents understand that we need to help our children grow into fruit bearing believers. However, often parents aren’t content with the fruit a child does produce. Some parents want orange trees while another wants an apple tree, yet a third parent may work really hard to produce a kumquat. There is nothing wrong with any of the above fruit but the problem comes when you try to turn an apple tree into a kumquat.

How do parents do that?

A parent may value education and deem it to be very important. I’m talking the focus on education beyond the typically expected learning of reading, math and science, the upper levels of education. They work hard to teach their child everything they possibly need to succeed in educational endeavors. They may struggle financially paying for a special private school which should ensure their child’s advancement educationally. Education can be a fruit if the child becomes a believer. The child could grow to be a very sound seminary professor who writes a well referenced Systematic Theology Book, like Grudem or Hodge. The child could become a world renowned doctor who finds the cure to cancer. Education as a fruit all depends on the Christian walk of the individual. Otherwise that same well educated individual might write a book trying to refute the existence of Jesus or develop a test so that imperfect babies can be aborted at the time a women finds out she is pregnant.

There are lots of fruit and good works that we can encourage our children in developing. Depending on their walk with the Lord will determine if they produce bad fruit or good fruit. But what happens if their parent tries to change the fruit from one type to another? To me this verse references that idea.

Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

What is the way he should go?

There are some ways that all children should go. They should be taught how to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit until they have the Holy Spirit guiding them along. Thus all children should bear the fruits of peace, patience, kindness and love like it says in Galatians 5:22. But when it comes to other matters we need the guidance of the Lord and also we need to know our children. While education itself is not a bad thing, we are not training our child in the way he should go if specific educational pursuits aren’t what the Lord has planned for him. See the Lord has good works planned for our children.

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

God has your child’s good works prepared beforehand. We as parents are to strive to equip our children to do those good works not to choose what good works they should do.

Most everyone knows examples of how in the secular world parents seek to produce apples from kumquat trees even to the point of plucking off the baby kumquats and trying to graft apples to the tree. Such as the father who wants a football star son and is driving his son to achieve football greatness yet the son wants to develop his skill in photography. Or the mom who wants a poised ballerina for a daughter but the daughter loves working with animals. We, looking from our standpoint, can easily see the problems with these examples. Of course, we as Christians and even as homeschooling families would not do that. Or do we?

How many times do we see an older homeschooled child and think that is what I want my child to be like? I’m not talking character or respectfulness but the actual skills (the fruit or works). Maybe an older teen girl bakes wonderful cakes, breads and pies which not only blesses her family and friends but provides a steady source of income. Now there is nothing wrong with teaching our daughters to bake and cook. All daughters should have at least a basic grasp of cooking. But what happens if we push for our daughter to be another “Miss Baker” while her heart’s desire is to play the violin. Can music not be as valid and as good of a fruit as baking?

Maybe we’ve got a son who dreams of owning a large farm with homegrown cattle, chickens and vegetables. He loves to ride and work on tractors but struggles with sitting still for school. Now granted there is a reasonable amount of education that all children should receive. But does that mean the parents need to pressure that child into achieving high scores on the ACT and going to college when he would rather learn from “Mr. Farmer” down the road forgoing the expense of college.

I seem old lately. 🙁  Old when it comes to homeschooling, at least, partly because I’ve grown so much and homeschooling has become so much easier to me. See I’m not trying to produce peaches from my life when in reality I’m a cherry tree. Gone are the days when I’m searching for the perfect curriculum or the perfect parenting book. Gone are the days when I read about a family that homeschools feeling we have failed to do so much. That doesn’t mean that I don’t try new things or change things when something doesn’t work well. But I’m not driving myself to be what I am not.

Baking bread happens around here but it isn’t a daily thing. It is also isn’t something I feel I must do to be a good mom. We sew some, but I found that I can buy clothes from thrift stores cheaper and with less hassle than making all our clothes. I’ve learned to take good but slightly imperfect clothes and make them work by sewing slits closed, adding an insert to the top or layering items. We have animals, which works well for us but that doesn’t mean every good homeschool family must raise chickens and goats. We have a garden, but not enough to sell and raise money. One child plays piano and violin for the church. She also teaches lessons now. My oldest son is the one everyone comes to for computer questions and repairs. That is some of the fruit and good works we produce here. I’m striving not to force them into some preconceived mold of this is what a good Christian homeschool family produces.

How are you trying to force yourself into producing different fruits or good works than God has intended for you?

Do you find yourself pushing for your child to produce fruit not in keeping with the “way he should go” but just your preconcieved ideas of good works and fruit? Or even worse according to the ideas of another “expert” on homeschooling Christian children?


 

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Fruit Bearing Children

Evidence of a Christian life is the fruit we bear.  That isn’t an option but a given.  A Christian bears fruit.

Matt 3:8 (ESV) Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.

Everyone bears fruit, that isn’t the question.  But as believers we should bear fruit for life, for God, for righteousness and the fruit of light.

Rom 7:4-6 (ESV)

4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.

Phil 1:9-11 (ESV)

9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Eph 5:7-12 (ESV)

7 Therefore do not associate with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

Rom 6:20-23 (ESV)

20  When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21  But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

According to Galatians 5 there are some other fruits all Christians should bear.

Gal 5:22-23 (ESV) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

No option is given. All Christians should bear the following fruits for God:

  • Righteousness
  • Light
  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • Self-control

Believe me, as a parent, teaching children to bear those fruits can be difficult and encompass all your time, partly because we as parents are still learning to bear the same fruits.

Sometimes the Lord blesses us with children who have fewer struggles bearing some of the fruit than others do.  There are babies who are born who naturally are more loving and more joyful while another child in the same family may struggle with being loving and joyful. That doesn’t mean that we as parents can allow that struggling child to get by with less because they display that sin nature more so than another.  We, and they, might have to work harder to produce fruit.  But the fruit will be more cherished when it comes because it required such hard work.

There may be a long time before a child bears fruit on their own.  Just as we don’t expect a real fruit tree to bear an abundance of fruit the first year we plant it.  However, there is a lot we as parents can do to help encourage our children to bear good and lasting fruit.  Just as we would water, fertilize and train a tree, we are doing similar for our children. Those trees that do not eventually bear good and lasting fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

Matt 3:10 (ESV) Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

While we as parents can only encourage, disciple and train our children to bear righteous fruit, it is the Holy Spirit who will enable our children to bear true Christian fruit.  Prayerfully at some point the Holy Spirit will come along side and convict and guide our children, taking over for us, as they strive to bear fruit in keeping with righteousness.  If your older child who claims to be a Christian is not showing fruit or at least showing buds of fruit you may need to question them and have them consider if they are truly a Christian.

 


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Fruit Bearing

It is that time of year again.  Time to start the tomato plants from seed or buy baby plants to put out in the next month or so.  Farmers used to plant on Good Friday.  My daughter has set some tomato seeds and she has several baby plants she is tending to.  The baby plants are outside during the warm days and inside when cool or at night.  Before long they will be planted in the garden.  Hopefully, they will bear much fruit (tomatoes are a fruit).  My daughter has a very good green thumb so her plants thrive where mine die.

Me, on the other hand, I struggle to get a few handful of tomatoes.  I don’t know what my issues have been. 🙁  Many, many times I have babied plants, set them out in the garden, and watered away all summer.  But then I end up with large leafy green tomato plants that I must keep staking, tying or propping up to keep them from falling on the ground.  That wouldn’t be a problem except they bear no fruit.  Maybe, just maybe, I get my hopes up because tiny green tomatoes appear yet alas, they fail to develop into those bright red tomatoes that I have looked forward to. 🙁

Some people who claim to be Christians are very much like my tomato plants.  They look healthy.  They appear to be growing well.  They are full of “good works” (leaves).  Maybe even they start to develop and appear to be producing fruit but by the end their fruit is rotten.   Rotten fruit is worthless.  Our churches are full of people who look healthy yet bear no fruit.

Matthew 7:15-20 (ESV)
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.
18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.
19  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Mark 4:20 (ESV) But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”

John 15:2-8 (ESV)
2  Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.
4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
8  By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

John 15:16 (ESV) You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Are you bearing good fruit?

Are you constantly staking, tying and propping up other believers and yet they don’t bear any fruit?

Are you forced to baby other believers and they never seem to be maturing?  Do they constantly return to the same issues?


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