The Bible talks about fruit and fruitfulness in some different ways. God’s first call upon humans is to “be fruitful and multiply. The original temptation in Genesis, chapter 3, uses fruit as a metaphor for that which tempts humans. Fruit is used to reflect both the good and righteous actions of people’s lives, but also the bad and unrighteous actions. In our time and culture we tend to see fruit as “that which we produce,” so a a fruitful person is one who is works hard, succeeds, and has something to show for their success. Students earn grades, workers get bonuses and raises, business owners show profits; these tend to be the type of fruit that is valued in our day.
The Bible speaks of fruit as that which our life produces as well, but not in terms of material success or production. The Bible emphasis on fruit is much more focused upon our character.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23 NIVUK
Fruit in the scripture, both Old and New Testament is much more focused upon who we are at the core of our being, not on the things we make or do. The fruit of love, joy, etc. is the natural outflow of a heart and mind that are set on God and his ways. If our heart is aligned with Christ who loves us and saves us, then our lives are changed at the level of heart and desire. In Christ, we desire the things of God for our own lives, the lives of others, and the world. Fruit in the scriptures, is the outflow of a life lived for God in God’s way.
How is your fruitfulness these days? Do you find yourself more concerned with the successes of the world or the character that Christ enables and produces in those who seek him and cooperate with the Spirit’s work to make us more like Jesus?