Jesus tells us that as believers, we will bear much fruit. What is your fruit? Jesus says our branches will bear good fruit. Jesus says we can be judged by whether we produce good fruit or bad fruit. This had me wondering, what is my fruit? How do we know if someone produces good fruit or bad fruit?
The answer I found is in Galatians 5:22 — “… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness (humility), and self-control….” This tells us that our fruit comes from the Holy Spirit in us. We have the Holy Spirit in us because we are believers in Jesus. Out of this Holy Spirit grows love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, …and so on, our fruit. If we look at our fruit as these characteristics, then we are supposed to live our lives producing more of these characteristics in our life. The Holy Spirit helps grow these fruits in us, but we still have the choice of how we will live our life, and whether we will stay connected to Jesus and the Holy Spirit that Jesus gave to us as believers.
So now I have a measure to compare my decisions against. Is how I behave each day showing my love and joy and peace…? Are my choices showing … patience, kindness, goodness…? What fruits do I lack? Do I need more patience? Do I need more self-control? I can now pray to the Holy Spirit for more patience. I can also look for these fruits in other people. If they are loving and joyful in their relationships and behavior, I can say that yes they show fruit, and it comes from their relationship with Jesus.
Jesus does NOT say that fruit is money or success or fame. We tend to judge people by these things, but Jesus is not interested in these things. Money or success or fame is not good fruit. Jesus wants us to be loving, joyful, peaceful and promote peace, patient and willing to endure difficult people, kind, good and do good, faithful, gentle and have humility, and to be moderate having your behavior under control. A person having these characteristics would have good relationships with other people. They would be liked by other people. They would not get into trouble. They would treat people as they would want to be treated. They would be known as someone with a strong faith in God. They may not have much money. They may not be famous. They may not have a powerful or exciting job. They would, however, produce good fruit, and have a close relationship with Jesus.
Knowing what characteristics are important to Jesus, gives me the perspective I need to judge my own life, and see where I need help, and what I need to pray about. If someone gets upset with me, maybe I wasn’t kind to them, or maybe I wasn’t patient enough. I can pray for the Holy Spirit to help me in growing more kind and patient. If I feel sad or depressed, maybe I need more joy, and I can ask the Holy Spirit to show me where I can find more joy and thankfulness.
Is there someone in your family or someone you know that has the characteristics of good fruit? They can help you grow more good fruit by using them as a role model. You might be able to ask them, “How do you keep so much joy in your life?” Or you might ask them, “How do you have so much patience with that person that causes so much trouble?” Who is the person in your life that shows good fruit? Maybe you could share an example with me in the comments below. Tell me one way that they show good fruit in their life.