(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?