Monday, February 19, 2007

Fruit - Real or Plastic?

Is the fruit in the bowl real or plastic?

A little hard to tell just by looking, right?
I’ll give you a hint….the bowl is 100 years old and the fruit is 50 years old,
so if you said plastic , you are right.
Plastic fruit has a long shelf life and is low maintenance , requiring nothing other than a quick wash now and again.
While it is decorative and appealing to the eye, plastic fruit cannot be eaten, it has no life and gives nothing of itself.

In contrast, real fruit takes a long time to grow, conditions must be right and the tree on which it grows must be healthy.
The fruit must be picked when it is ripe and eaten when it is fresh.
Real fruit has life in itself and it offers life to others.

Which kind of fruit – plastic or real- do you have in the basket of your heart?

As Christians we are called to bear fruit but we sometimes confuse the real with the plastic imitation.
There may not be much visible difference when we are casually observed but the test is in the ‘eating’ ….when people look to us for nourishment for their soul do they find our fruit to be real or plastic? Is it life-giving or superficial?

To have healthy fruit…we must first have a healthy tree. Jesus says that He is the vine and we are the branches. There is no doubt the Divine Vine is healthy, so our responsibility lies with drawing our sustenance from Him to keep our branch alive and life giving.
If we have His Spirit life in us then our fruit will be real but if we are a dead or dying branch our fruit may be of the plastic variety.

Galatians 5:22,23 lists the fruit of the Spirit : love, joy, peace, long suffering, goodness, gentleness, self-control, meekness, faith

How can we tell if we have the real or the plastic, the true or the carnal??

Plastic love is self-focused….loving only that which is lovely, loving only where it is loved in return – plastic love is concerned with self protection.
Real love… is about self-sacrifice, loving the unlovely and the unlovable, willing to go where others turn away.

Plastic joy responds to the moment, is dependant on circumstances , expressed with feelings of happiness for something gained or enjoyed.
Real joy is a reservoir deep within that comes from being in the presence of God….it cannot be suppressed because it rejoices in thanksgiving to God in all circumstances.

Plastic peace is simply the absence of chaos or calamity, it exists only where nothing frightens or disturbs.
Real peace is the security of knowing the Prince of Peace who rules over every stormy gale , it is finding in Him a shelter from the turmoil of life.

Plastic long suffering will suffer only for promised gain, or fame or wealth.
Real long suffering is willing to carry someone else’s burden, to pay another’s debt, to bear ridicule or shame that is undeserved.

Plastic goodness looks for praise and acclaim and recompense, it is careful with valued possessions
Real goodness is watchful not to inflict pain or offence , it looks for opportunity to do kind deeds and loves to do them in secret.

Plastic faith is mind over matter, manipulating to get it’s own way, believing because it feels right.
Real faith is childlike trust in God, believing in His goodness and mercy, resting in His word.

Plastic self-control considers the ramifications of letting loose with words or actions , it considers personal cost.
Real self-control results from desiring to honor Christ in word and deed.

Plastic meekness focuses on self-lack, it is patient when there is no threat of loss , no interruption of it’s own agenda.
Real meekness honors others and does not see itself at all, it quietly walks along side to help and support and encourage and is willing to wait .

Plastic kindness gives to receive again, its deeds calculated for personal benefit.
Real kindness finds expression in tender love for another, it is compassionate and caring, responding to need.

Real fruit – “against such there is not law.” (Gal. 5:23b)
Let’s examine the fruit in our heart basket, take it out one by one…. is it real? or plastic? or real with plastic spots?

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit “! ( Gal. 5:25)


Lovella said...

Pictures, how delightful. I wish I could read all of those little tests and say yes I am real through and through but I seem to have some plastic things stuck to me. Such a good way of looking at the fruit that we all bear.

Anonymous said...

I stop by and read your blog quit frequently and I want to thank you for sharing your insights. I am often encouraged and challenged through what I read here. It's been a while since I did a 'fruit inspection' in my heart. This morning I will do just that. Kathy

Julie said...

Hi Kathy, thank-you for letting me know you visit! It encourages me, and I value your comments.
God bless you in His love!