The shelf life of freshly picked fruit in the Caribbean is only a matter of days. Leave a bowl of fruit on the counter for too long, and soon you will have a trail of ants in your kitchen, unwanted fruit flies everywhere, and multiple midnight guests of rats and mice. And then there’s the heat. There is nothing quite like the smell of a rotten, overheated banana in the house. You know the smell.
In the Caribbean, good fruit can easily go bad if left out in the harsh environment for too long. Same goes for spiritual fruit as well.
In John 15, Jesus says that He has appointed us to go and bear fruit. And not just any fruit, mind you. He wants us to grow fruit that will last. But in a world full of ants, fruit flies, rats and mice, how do we grow fruit that won’t spoil? How do we bear good fruit that won’t go bad?
You know what my grandma does with her bananas? Before she sets them on her counter, she wraps its stem with plastic wrap. I looked this up online, and apparently this can prevent ethylene from traveling down to the banana, making it last longer. This, I find completely fascinating.
Just like a banana, the longevity of our spiritual fruit depends on how well we protect our stems and roots. We can’t wrap our joy, peace, and kindness in plastic wrap, but we can root them in scripture, cover them with prayer, and nourish them within a community of believers. Even still, the enemy will always try to come and snatch our fruit away from us. But the more we keep our stems protected, the less successful he will be.
Jesus has called all of us to bear fruit that will last. How do you keep the fruit you are growing from going bad in your life?
What fruit are you currently growing in your life, and how do you work on making it last?
Recently a friend of mine posted something on Facebook that really got me thinking. Basically, he was challenging Christians to examine their attitude. If we are people who are constantly complaining, then will people be able to distinguish us from the world? Instead, what if were known for our joy? In a time when the world needs joy, could my joy help draw them to the church? So this year, my goal is be more joyful and to show other the joy I have inside of me because of Jesus. How am I going to make this last? A lot of prayer and strategically being around other Christians who are known for their joy so I can learn and glean from them.