Before we get to today’s fruit, there is a question in my mind that needs answering. Why are these things in Galatians called fruit? Why not flowers, or clothes, or some other metaphor? As it turns out, there is quite a lot to it!
So what are fruit for? When I think of fruit, what comes to mind is something yummy and healthy to eat, that comes in pretty colours too.
Genesis 1:29 (WEBBE): 29God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree, which bears fruit yielding seed. It will be your food.
My idea of eating fruit is after all a pretty important reason for the creation of fruit. Which leads me to the first parallel with the spiritual. A tree is not meant to keep its fruit to itself – the fruit should be eaten by any who is hungry. In the same way, while we certainly have access to the fruit of the Spirit ourselves, we are not meant to keep it all to ourselves. We should in fact be sharing it with the world!
What my memory of this verse did not in fact include is the mention of “fruit yielding seed”. Lets look at what fruit are for in nature.
The principal botanical purpose of the fruit is the protection and dissemination of the seed.
– Encyclopaedia Britannica
So the seeds really are there for a purpose, not just to be those annoying bits that you have to avoid when you eat the fruit. 😉 The seed is the part that makes it possible for a new plant to grow.
Every fruit of the Spirit also contains a seed of the Kingdom of God. Every time we produce one of these fruit, it has an impact on the people around us. Not only does it nourish them, providing the love or peace or joy that they need in that moment. It also contains the seed of a personal relationship between them and God. And if that grows, they can in turn start to carry their own fruit!
Now on to today’s fruit: peace. If we don’t have peace in ourselves, it would be exceedingly hard to share it with the world. Lets see what Paul and Timothy’s advice is.
Philippians 4:4-7 (WEBBE): 4Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, “Rejoice!” 5Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.
Peace, like all the fruit of the Spirit, originates from a personal relationship with God. And what happens when we share that peace?
Matthew 5:9 (WEBBE): 9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
But not everybody got the memo – some people will not want to be at peace with you. What should we do then?
Romans 12:18-20 (WEBBE): 18If it is possible, as much as it is up to you, be at peace with all men. 19Don’t seek revenge yourselves, beloved, but give place to God’s wrath. For it is written, “Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord.” 20Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing so, you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
This is not easy, but it certainly is worth it. Your peace could be the last little push that somebody needs to accept the Lord as their saviour!