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Ripe fruit is best

My hubby scolded me the other day! It was quite shocking actually, because it was over my Grateful Dead t-shirt.

“You cannot wear that shirt,” he said.

I looked down and asked him why not.

“Name two songs of theirs then.”

I laughed and said, “Oh, I can’t name any.”

“Exactly!” He answered.

At first, I was amused that my shirt offended him. I even told him that today it’s different; people like vintage, so I got it. Well, that, and it’s purple. He didn’t care.

As I thought more about it, I realized there is a certain persona that goes with the people that follow the Grateful Dead. I’ll be honest, I have no idea what that vibe is, but I feel strongly I am not it.

Now, I wear a lot of Christian t-shirts. I know that’s controversial in some circles, but I have found they often spark a conversation with strangers that offers me the chance to talk about Jesus in my own life.

But what if I have on my shirt that says Not Today Satan (or any shirt that shows I am a follower of Christ), and I am yelling, or worse, swearing at the Kroger clerk? That shirt becomes a “worldly” shirt that means nothing, minimizing the words I speak about Jesus, and maybe even those others speak. Wearing that shirt without walking the walk that goes with it will just be more noise in an already noisy world.

We can say the same for our walk with Jesus and how the world sees us. When we allow the fruit of the spirit to be our guide, we are different from the world. When we practice patience, kindness, self-control, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and walk in a peace the world doesn’t understand, we show Jesus. (Galatians 5:22-23) We glorify God when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us that way. After all, ripe fruit tastes the best, ensuring we get its full benefits.

I have yet to get all these fruits right at the same time. Goodness, I’m lucky if I walk in two at the same time some days. Yet, it is a goal I am constantly striving for. I find gentleness, patience, and self-control to be daunting on more occasions than I want to admit. Do you have one you struggle with? Let’s connect and support each other!

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