Weeds of the Flesh and Fruit of the Spirit
The Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5 are well known to many - Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness .....etc. But what is not often recognized is that in many of the places in the New Testament where positive characteristics of Christlikeness (Fruit of the Spirit) are mentioned, Weeds of the Flesh are also mentioned. These include Galatians 5, Colossians 3 and the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7.
Gardeners know you need to do two things to have a sustainably fruitful garden - Remove the Weeds and Nurture the Fruit. It is very hard to grow good fruit in a garden overrun by weeds BUT it is also easier to keep the weeds down when a garden is full of healthy fruit bearing plants.
Sometimes we want to grow in the Fruit of the Spirit - say Love or Joy, but we forget to cooperate with God in the removal of weeds that limit or prevent that fruit. It is hard to be loving when you are full of anger and contempt. It is hard to be joyful when you are full of envy and greed.
But it is also true that when we have the fruit of joy, the weed of envy is also much less likely to grow.
Growth in Christlikeness is a process of SUBTRACTION AND ADDITION.
If you have just focussed on nurturing a particular fruit, ask God to show you how this can be enhanced by removing specific weeds.
If you have just tried to eliminate certain weeds, ask God to show you how this can be enhanced by nurturing specific Fruits of the Spirit.
photo credit: Dandelions via photopin (license)
David Wanstall, 04/03/2015