Wax Fruit

WAX_FRUIT“I hate to admit it, but I’ve been a very proud man who is versed enough in humility not to let anyone see my arrogance.”

(from Dan Allender’s book Leading with a Limp)

Many of us who have been in church circles for a while understand this game. Just like this churchgoer hid his arrogance from the community by constructing a facade of false humility, we too can cover our bad character traits with a convincing imitation of good character.

We can hide who we really are and receive applause for who we are not.

This is a real temptation that makes artificial fruit more commonplace than authentic fruit of the Spirit. After all, artificial fruit is fairly easy to manufacture, and we can find ourselves under significant community pressure to produce anything that will pass for the real thing.

Although wax fruit looks nice as a decoration on the community table, it has some real limitations.

  • Wax fruit is worthless. It’s a man-made imitation of godliness. Because it’s not the fruit of God’s Spirit, it’s not a reflection of God’s character or the evidence of His grace or a demonstration of His power.
  • Wax fruit isn’t nourishing to others. It’s not about others at all. Artificial fruit is really an act that we put on for others, so that others will think better of us.
  • Wax fruit tends to melt in the heat. In the fires of trial and suffering, that bowl of attractive plastic fruit turns into a messy puddle.

Or so I gather.

The organic production of real fruit in our lives—genuine fruit of God’s Spirit—is a relational process. We become spiritually fruitful by living attentively and receptively in the Presence of God. We abide in the Vine. We walk in the Spirit.

By spending time with God, we become like Him, and His fruit appears in us.

It’s not “tricky.”

It’s not complicated.

Why do we make it so hard?

9 thoughts on “Wax Fruit

  1. I remember from my childhood that bowl of waxy fruit sitting on our dining room table. Other unappealing traits: it collected a lot of dust and it wasn’t very attractive.

    You’ve got me wondering why I’ve preferred dusty, unattractive, and being a waxy mess over what God intended for me. Like you said, it doesn’t have to be hard. Thankfully, my blog is helping. I’m getting more comfortable by the post with truthfulness and authenticity.

    Thanks, Dave, for being one of my fruity friends. And thanks for another great read.

  2. Such a profound analogy from something as simple as wax fruit.
    I will never look at a fake apple or orange or banana the same way.
    Your last question is pounding in my brain: Why do we make it so hard? We’d rather be liked … be accepted … than be real.
    Because we don’t think the real us will be liked. Or accepted.

    • “Why do we make it so hard? We’d rather be liked … be accepted … than be real. Because we don’t think the real us will be liked. Or accepted.”
      Now you’ve got me thinking. You have brilliantly distilled it down to FEAR of rejection in community. We would rather experience the acceptance of a false self than risk rejection of our true selves. For me, I can make “being with God” hard, too. It’s still counter-intuitive for me. I more readily and easily think about Him than engage Him.

  3. Wow, Dave. So thought-provoking. I’ll be pondering this for the day. Living the waxed fruit life is easier on the ego and on the heart, for a time. Less chance of rejection.

    Being the person I am, though, authenticity clamors for release sooner or later. I can only be fake for so long before emptiness and dissatisfaction sets in. I’m learning to live on the vine, even when it hurts, because in the end, being in intimate fellowship with God creates the most beautiful fruit of all.

    • “Living the waxed fruit life is easier on the ego and on the heart, for a time. Less chance of rejection.”
      So very well put, Jeanne. And it’s a beautiful thing that you cannot be content for long with faking fruit, but return to fruit-bearing intimacy with God. Thank you so much for your on-target response.

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