Wednesday, January 5
When God shows you Fruit
As believer's we are supposed to bear the fruit of the Spirit. But sometimes I think we forget we're producing fruit and then God shows us that we ARE bearing HIS Spirit. Here's how God showed me that I was producing the fruit of kindness.
I love to organize my office each January to help start my year out on a good note. With all that being said, I found myself so engrossed in purging my office that I didn't take a shower all day long nor did I wash my hair the other day. And in between the cleaning, I had to keep a four year old entertained! (The list is too long to write about keeping my son entertained...but I was successful!) Needless to say I felt my appearance was....what's the word....icky. That's how serious I was about getting rid of piles of papers on my desk. (That I had piles of paper on my desk is an entirely different post!) With my husband out of town and no food in the fridge, my stomach began to growl like a hungry bear not to mention my hungry little bear cub's tummy too. Seeing that it was six in the evening and I hadn't left the house all day, I was going to have to go out and get something to eat for me and my son. That would mean I would at least have to try to get myself together. (You know.... put the hair up in a ponytail and slap on a few dabs of makeup, put my lip on, and of course a few ear bobs.) I looked well... at least put together. And it was dark outside so who would notice anyway right! I guess it's a southern thing that's engrained in me
As I pulled into the drive-thru I was just being myself...saying please and thank you. I didn't think that I was "being extraordinarily nice." But I must have been different from some of the other customers driving through before me.
I drove up to the window, paid the cashier and she closed the window. (Nothing out of the ordinary.) We waited a few minutes and when she returned with our dinner, she said, "I put an extra cookie in their just for you because you have been so nice to me." "What?" I thought. "What did I say or do that was so nice?" Didn't see that coming!!!!! I knew my tone was cheerful but I didn't think anything was over the top super extra nice. I was just being me. Can I just say, that God made me smile as I left the drive thru with my extra chocolate half-dipped chocolate chip cookie. He did. Here's why.
I was quickly reminded that JESUS in my heart shines through to others without me even knowing it sometimes. HE is the one that gives me the joy inside my heart and you know what...people can see it. They really can see it. Even when I haven't had a shower or washed my hair...on the kind of day when the last thing I want to do is get out of my house and go somewhere...some stranger saw JESUS in me.
Being kind and considerate to others can make a difference in their life. I don't know what might have been going on in the life of the cashier, but my kindness coming through a few words like, "Can I please have..... and thank you... was enough for her to think something of me and my dirty hair.I laughed because I didn't look by best. I actually looked my worst and still Christ in me brought someone joy. How cool is that! That is the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we grow in Christ and bear fruit, people can see it and call it for what it is.
God showed me I was bearing the fruit of kindness in my life in an ordinary mundane drive thru. He let me see it and not take credit for it. I don't think I have ever thought of it that way before. I think it was the first time that I could see that kindness was beyond being nice. It was the fruit of His kindness shown to me through the gift of salvation that I could show His kindness to others. The reason for this post is not to make much of myself, but to make much Christ whose Spirit lives inside my heart. It is to encourage you to look and listen to when God shows you the kind of fruit you are bearing. Also, when He shows you the fruit you AREN"T bearing.( Unfortunately that one really hurts- an entirely different post!)
The bible tells us 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
I think sometimes we write things off in our life. Especially little things like being kind.We say we are just being nice, or trying to be helpful. But I can tell you I was stunned last night at that drive thru. God clearly revealed to me, "Ashley....look, it's me in you that is producing this fruit. You are yielding to me and I am showing you that I making you more like Me." Wow. Kindness is something the world is not well acquainted with- especially when people are hungry. I waited kindly and patiently and I guess that is what was different. Different enough for the cashier to give me an extra cookie!
Has God revealed to you that you are bearing His fruit in your life? How has He shown you? Do you even recognize the fruit you are bearing to be His spirit or do you write it off and not think anything of it?
Let us not become complacent and forget about the fruits of His Spirit. They matter because the world can see it.