Ditch the Rotten Fruit
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Have you ever gone to the refrigerator or the fruit bowl to find that the fruit you recently bought has begun to perish? At that time, you can choose to remove the perishing item or leave it to decay, causing the other fruit around it to decompose. There is much about rotten fruit that is unappealing; unless dealt with appropriately, the smell will linger, the fruit will decay, and spread decay to other fruit.
The Bible talks about the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23:
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (NLT)
These fruits are cultivated by the Holy Spirit in our lives. In verses 19-21 we read about “bad and rotten fruit,” which is the result of the works of “the sinful nature.”
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.
It’s unpleasant to deal with the rotten fruit of the sin nature. However, left unchecked, the consequences have serious repercussions.
Like literal rotten fruit, the acts of the sin nature begin to affect our lives and negatively influence those around us. Daily, we must choose to either continue following the desires of the flesh—or we decide to get rid of the rotten fruit and allow the fruit of the Spirit to be evident in our lives.
The choices we make ultimately determine whether we walk in peace or discord. Each choice positively or negatively affects us not only individually, but equally impacts those around us.
In Luke 6:43-45, Jesus says:
“A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”
From these verses, we see that our speech is an indicator of the condition of the heart. For out of the abundance (the overflow) of the heart, the mouth speaks. The words that we speak have creative power. They can build up or tear down; they can be life-giving or words of death that destroy.
Father, thank You for Your Spirit that produces good fruit in our lives—for our own benefit, and for the benefit of others. Let our attitudes and speech overflow with Your goodness, that You may be glorified. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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