Ditch The Rotten Fruit
by Allen Carter
Head of Development, CBN Europe
Spirit and Flesh
I wonder how often you have gone to the refrigerator or the fruit bowl to find that the fruit you recently bought has begun to perish? At that time, you can choose to remove the perishing item or leave it to decay, causing the other fruit around it to decompose. There is something about rotten fruit that is unattractive, and unless dealt with appropriately, the smell will linger, and the fruit will shrivel up and decay and affect other fruit.
The Bible talks about the Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” and that these fruits are produced and outworked by the Holy Spirit in our lives. These fruits are all good and rightly so; however, in verses 19-21 there are “bad and rotten fruit, ” which are the works of the flesh or also referred to as “the sinful nature”.
”When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.” (NLT)
We often do not like to consider the effects of these rotten fruits. In fact, we tend to skip over them. However, unless dealt with properly, the consequences have serious repercussions.
Unless dealt with properly, the consequences [of rotten fruit in our lives] have serious repercussions.
Like rotten fruit, they soon begin to affect our lives and begin to negatively influence those around us. Daily, we choose either to continue following the desires of the flesh or we decide to get rid of the rotten fruit and allow the fruits of the Spirit to be evident in our lives.
The choices we make, ultimately determine whether we walk in peace or discord. Each choice positively or negatively affects us not only individually, but equally impacts those around us.
Trees and Their Fruit
In Luke 6:43-45 (NLT), Jesus says:
“A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”
From these verses, we see that the mouth is an indicator of the condition of the heart. For out of the abundance (the overflow) of the heart, the mouth speaks. The words that we speak have creative power. They either build up or tear down; they are either life-giving words or words of death that destroy. The fruit displayed may appear genuine, but it is not until it is eaten, that we really see the effect of the roots. In other words, the ‘taste’ of our fruit is the indicator of our heart’s condition.
Every day, how we choose to speak will impact us as individuals and those we communicate with. Let us determine to get rid of the rotten fruit and deal with the roots of bitterness, allowing the Holy Spirit to do a deep, cleansing work so that we will overflow with the fruit of a pure heart as we speak.