All about the fruit. I’ve heard this thousands of times before, but it’s a good reminder. When my attention span allows me to sit and read a book long enough I can really soak up some new insights, or at least hear something that needed repetition anyway. I’ve been reading Christine Caine’s book Stop Acting Like a Christian- Just Be One. She’s a great communicator and some of the concepts in the book can be hard to grapple with.
My dad has been a Music Minister in Baptist churches for about 30 years and I’ve been in church every time the doors were open. As a person who has been involved in ministry my entire life, since birth pretty much, it can become easy to focus on the activities. Since middle and high school I have been on leadership teams, a small group leader, lead worshipper, youth/child mentor, creative teams, and singer on a high profile music group in college. This puts you in front of people alot which constantly keeps your character in check (or at least it should), but it also creates the obvious- LOTS of activity.
It comes in waves- we’re human. And I have found that some periods in my life I can get so caught up in doing, instead of focusing on being. Lots of activity in the Lord’s name, but at risk for my spiritual core to become weak. This sums up the book. Over the years I’m reminded of something Pastor Daryl has said- Worship on Sunday should merely be an outflow of what’s already happening on the inside during the week. A celebration of who God is and what He’s been doing in your life internally everyday. Sometimes we can even focus on gifts of the Spirit when our soul need some work. My spiritual core needs strengthening just like any other muscle of my body. My gifts and talents that I think I have cannot be a good measure of my “success” as a Christian.
Christine says it like this:
When the gifts of the Spirit on a person’s life are greater than the fruit of the Spirit in a person’s life, that life will begin to crumble…Regardless of how strong and whole we think we are, we must remember we’re all on the journey to Christlikeness and Christian maturity.
Other symptoms like unhealthy relationships, depression, addictions and insecurities surface when my inside doesn’t match my outside. And thus that maturity declines.
I want to be all about the fruit. I don’t want try hard to act like a Christ-follower. I will be honest, it’s hard sometimes, certain areas more than others. But I believe the natural outflow of living out these fruits of the Spirit will simply allow me to be one.
So what about you? Are you all about the fruit or the activity? Your gifts or the outflow of daily fruit?