Growing the Fruit of the Spirit: Part 1: Climate

The Fruit of the Spirit, i.e., Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness (Generosity), Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control are things we all hope, trust and pray become apart of our everyday lives. Yet, so many of us are at a loss to figure out how to get the Fruit of the Spirit to grow in our lives. Fruit

Let’s look at two things that I read about long ago when listening to a sermon by Dr. D. Stuart Briscoe, formerly the Senior Pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Dr. Briscoe mentioned two words in connection with growing the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives. I do not recall exactly what he said about the two concepts but here are the words: Climate and Cultivate. The ensuing commentary is from yours truly…

Climate: We need to create and maintain the right environment and climate for the Fruit of the Spirit to grow in our hearts. Consider this: Palm trees do not grow in Minnesota! Why, because every November (or earlier) a cold, northern blast of arctic air passes over the state and kills most vegetation for the winter months. This is necessary disastrous for palm trees. A killer frost and below zero winter cold kills them even if they got a good start of growth during the summer months.

We are all sinful and will fall from grace every day. When that happens, we fall to our knees. Confess our sin and receive forgiveness. But, if we allow and indulge a cold arctic storm of anger, pornography, adultery, drunkenness, greed or other sinful behavior to overtake our hearts and take up residence in our souls, the fledgling Fruit of the Spirit will die. For it to grow, we must have a climate that withstands the normal storms of our fallen characters, but if safe from the overwhelming, destructive sin of habitual killer frosts. We cannot expect to enjoy healthy growth of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit is we are drunk, sleeping around, watching porn, or the like, on a regular basis.

Once we stabilize our Christian walk, and refrain from egregious tsunamis of sinful behavior, the Fruit will prosper. But that is not enough…In the next installment, Part 2, we will discuss how to make sure the crop grows to harvest and completes its good work in our lives…