It Takes a Long Time

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 The Message

When Paul writes about the fruit of the Spirit, he’s trying to capture the kind of growth that goes on in the hearts and minds of those who are following Jesus ever more closely. Like fruit, it takes a while to develop.

Typically, with fruit trees there’s a process they undergo on their way to produce fruit - it starts with a seed, then a sapling, then some branches, and finally after a number of years, the tree produces fruit. It’s the same with people - both in the sense that we take a while to produce fruit and in the sense that there’s a predictable process we need to go through towards that end.

Below is a simple diagram of that process.


Today, as you think about the scripture above, take some time to ask Jesus for the grace to go through the process (especially the hard parts) of bearing good fruit in your life.

Perhaps there’s one of the fruit of the Spirit that Paul mentioned above that you have a sense that you need more than the others - ask Jesus to show you the steps towards producing the fruit in your life.