As I mentioned back in November of 2017, this article is the relaunch of my dad’s article. Therefore, I want to feature his original work from time to time. I am going to title those posts as “IWJT Throwback”. This particular article was originally written in January 2008. I have titled it Ripeness. I have done some light editing to it, but it is largely intact in its original form. I hope you enjoy this article, and thank you again for reading.
“Because of a new jelly commercial on television, I began to think about fruit and jelly. I know that sounds really kind of obscure. Anyway as my mind wandered to people picking fruit at just the right time, I wondered, just how do you know when to harvest (pick) the fruit. I did some research about how to know when certain fruit is ripe. The main thing is how it looks. You look at it: if it looks ripe, then it most likely is ripe. Some fruits you feel and how hard or soft it is lets you know if it is ripe. There are several other options to see if it is ripe depending on the kind of fruit and how it grows. But the main thing is how it looks.
Drawn by the fruit idea I went back and read that passage of scripture in the book of Galatians, chapter five, verses 22 – 26. Many of us know it as the list for the “fruits of the spirit”. The list goes like this: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Looking at the list there are a lot of “nesses” so I got out the American Heritage Dictionary and looked up “ness”. Here is what it said, -ness suff. State, quality, condition, degree.
So the important thing is what the state or condition of our attitude might be. Not only the attitude of the heart but also what people see in our actions. As we live out this life on earth we need the correct “nesses”. I have found that if we have those, the other things seem to fall in place like the love, joy, peace, patience and self-control. If someone looked at the real fruit of our life, would they determine that our fruit is ripe and want to pick it? Would it look so good they would want to have what we have? There is nothing that turns me away like a piece of rotten fruit. Ever seen one of those bananas that sits on the counter too long? Turning from a beautiful yellow to a dark ugly black? Often times when we leave the beautiful fruits of our spirit un-used and on the counter, they can also turn black. Then people wonder about what we are or have done with the God-given fruit of our lives.
Galatians the fifth chapter in verses 24-25, right after the list, states; “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passion and desires. Since we live by the Spirit let us keep in step with the Spirit”. Life is hard. Temptations and human shortcomings cause each of us to fall and not have those wonderful fruits displayed in every second of our life. But, yet it tells us if we belong to Jesus we should try with everything we have to kill those sinful passions and desires.
So thinking about what fruit gets picked depends on how that fruit looks. Maybe we should think also about how we look as examples of the fruits of the spirit. They really are a great list to live by. How about it, is your fruit ripe (in the Spirit)?
Anyway, I Was Just Thinking ……”