You’ve been shopping for produce before, right?

Have you ever thumped watermelon to listen for the deep tone of one that’s really juicy or smelled the stem end of cantaloupe to determine if it’s going to be really flavorful? Ever inspected apples for smooth skin and signs of bruising? Squeezed a peach or plum to figure out if it’s ripe enough to eat or needs another day or two on the counter?

You know the drill…you inspect each piece before you put it in your cart.

I’ve done all of those things and more to decide if fruit is ready to enjoy. Fruit that is overripe, not ripe enough or too bruised isn’t worth eating, in my opinion.

Because of our focus on the fruit of the Spirit on Imperfect Wives Radio, I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.

Some days I feel like I’m being thumped, inspected, and squeezed…all at the same time!

The challenges and demands of daily life can be used to show us the quality of the fruit we’re bearing.

Recently the Holy Spirit has made me acutely aware of my fruit-revealing responses to circumstances. (Truth be told, most of those challenges happen within the walls of our home!)

With greater depth than ever before, I see the choices before me in each situation. I am aware that I have a limit to my endurance to make those choices. Some days I just get to the point where I feel like I’m done…that I have no energy left to make a God-honoring choice. When I get to the point where I feel like I can’t make one more good choice, I have another choice to make:

Am I going to continue to yield to the Holy Spirit or am I going to allow my flesh to take over?

I’ve had another revelation: the feeling that I’m “done” is a lie! In the big picture, it isn’t easier to give in to my flesh. Giving in to my own selfish desires doesn’t make life easier. It only makes life harder. {I know, I know…duh!} But honestly, I’ve given in to that deception far too many times. When I do, I just delay the yielding to the Lord and end up with a bigger problem, usually one that involves being a stumbling block to my husband or children because my behavior tempts them to sin, too. Whoa.

The thing is, some of these decisions aren’t necessarily big ones that my family can even identify when I get them wrong. (They really do have a lot of grace for me!) The majority of the time, it’s the Holy Spirit whispering in my ear, telling me to be more gentle, kind, loving, or joyful.

Allowing the Holy Spirit to have His way in me is easier, in the short term and over the long haul. It keeps me from saying or doing things I shouldn’t do. It saves me time in doing “damage control” with my husband, children and friends because of the fall-out of my sin. And I don’t have to waste time resisting the guilt and condemnation that the enemy tries to serve up as a result of my flesh-centered choices. (The guilt and condemnation have no place to find a toe-hold when I’m submitted to God and allowing His fruit to be made manifest!)

Maybe all of this is something God spoke to your heart a long time ago and you’re thinking, “Well, yeah, Rebecca…what’s taken you so long to get it?!”

Or maybe you’re like me and you “know” this in your head, but there’s still a bit of a disconnect with your heart at times.

If you fall into that second category, I invite you to pray this prayer with me:

God, please fully connect my head knowledge with my words and actions, so that I manifest the fruit of Your Spirit increasingly-more frequently and consistently. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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