Whether you’ve spent time in a garden, lived on a farm or visited one, you’ve probably in some shape or form had the opportunity to experience what it’s like to cultivate something. This past school year, my younger daughter had the privilege of attempting to grow a sunflower. She came home with her eyes beaming because she was given this very tiny plant in a small Dixie® cup.
Much like my daughter who was daily diligent to cultivate that sunflower, disciples must set themselves to the arduous task of cultivating spiritual fruit. Paul presented to the Galatians a contrasting image of works of the flesh and fruits of the spirit (Galatians 3:16-26). His calling their attention to the fruit of the spirit was to reveal to them that through walking in the Spirit they would not fulfill lusts of the flesh.
Although Paul points to this contrast so that the Galatians would understand who would and who would not inherit the Kingdom of God, the need to cultivate the fruit of the spirit works towards setting us apart as light in a dark world. Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance are the spiritual fruits that must be nurtured and tended to in order that it will grow in abundance in our lives. This fruit is not naturally occurring in us in their fullness as God designed, in the wake of man’s sin. Much like when Paul tells us that our mind must be renewed (Romans 12:2) in order to “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God“, so too must our character be renewed in such a way that is not selfish, self-seeking, self-pleasing, and self-destructive.
We must see ourselves in such a way that we devote ourselves to cultivating spiritual, good fruit so that we are not just producing good in our own lives, but availing ourselves to help produce good in the lives of others. A disciple who has the ability to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in his/her life becomes a more complete and whole person that is equipped to bring wholeness to others.
While my daughter was unfortunately unable to see the fullness of a fully cultivated sunflower due to a rabbit coming one night and devouring it, we are more able to tend to the fruit of the Spirit that we commit to develop in our lives. Put your all into the cultivation of good fruit and watch what you’re able to produce.
QUESTION: How do you set yourself in the process of cultivating the fruit of the Spirit?
- How to Produce the Fruit of the Spirit (reknew.org)
- Faith In Action ‘Self Control’ (mylordmyfriend.com)
- bearing much fruit (ellenolinger.wordpress.com)