16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
What does the fruit of the Spirit actually mean? It is what it produced when the Holy Spirit is in you. When the Holy Spirit comes into a believer, it transforms them.
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
Galatians 2:20 says “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
And Romans 12:2 says “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
When the Holy Spirit comes into a person, it is a Spirit from the outside going in and it makes a transformation on the inside that then produces fruit that is good. It is fruit that comes from the Holy Spirit inside of you. The fruit of the Spirit.
Without the Holy Spirit in you, all you have left is sin. And sin also produces fruit.
Luke 6:43-45 says “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
So how can we apply this to our lives. It is so easy to see other people’s fruits. The fruit my husband has fed me is mostly bad. So easy to recognize, because I am eating it. But what about my own fruit? Am I producing love or bitterness? Am I producing joy or pain? Peace or animosity? Patience or a hasty reaction? Kindness or meanness? Goodness or evil?Faithfulness or faithlessness? Gentleness or harsh actions? Self control or self pleasing? Whatever I am producing, I eat. And so do the people around me. So if I really can’t self reflect, then let me look at my reflection in those around me. Are my kids producing good fruit? Do my friends genuinely enjoy my company? What would my family say is the worst thing about me? Is my spouse happy and joyful when I am around?
I know for years, I planted and produced bad fruit right alongside my husband. We both ate it until we were sick. But at some point, you have to self reflect. Is this good or bad? Is it doing good things to me or bad things to me? Do I want to feed this to my loved ones and myself? When the Holy Spirit comes, He does the work. He changes your heart when His Spirit comes into you. You will be transformed and you will start to naturally produce good fruit. And one last thing for people who are not sure if they care enough about producing good fruit. Look back at Matthew 7:19-20.
“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
If your family, your kids, your friends are not enough motivation, maybe your selfish self will be. For my husband, Lord please cut him down before he reaches the end of his life. Please put him in the fire. A refining fire that will burn away all the impurities until all that is left is gold. You have promised to not abandon this man in the sin of the world. Don’t forget your son. Amen