But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
About 18 months ago, Glen and I bought lemon and lime trees. When we planted them, the trees had fruit, but since then, they never bloomed or produced fruit again. Glen watered the trees and fertilized them, but they are just pretty green bushes in our yard right now. There is nothing on them to show their type. I’ve been thinking about those trees as debate wages across our country about the Women’s marches, particularly among some of the more conservative Christians. Many question how a Christian could associate with a group who support causes that go against their own beliefs. I remembered back to when my kids were small and a woman told me that all Christians should home school. I knew my temperament and that of my kids would not allow me to successfully home school and retain a positive influence as their mother. It was better for us that we were not locked in a room together all day. Otherwise, I might be in jail for murder. But, the woman’s comments made me search my soul. Was I truly a Christian if I didn’t home school? Did she mean that because I didn’t home school, then, I was not a Christian? It was after much struggle, that I peacefully set her comments aside as judgmental and misguided. Along with the help of the Holy Spirit and my husband, I reconciled my decision to leave them in public school with my faith in Christ. Here is a news flash for those of you who don’t know: The Bible clearly defines who is a Christian and who is not. Christians are those who accept that they are sinners and understand that the only way to forgiveness is through Christ. There is no prayer or formula, no ritual or practice that makes us Christians. It is only through faith in Christ that we become Christ followers. We are not perfect because we are humans. We are only a mere reflection like a darkened mirror of who Christ truly is. Since all of that takes place in a person’s heart, how do we know who is Christian and who is not? That’s the key: we don’t. Judging based upon what we do or say is also flawed. That said, I return to my fruit trees with lovely green leaves and no fruit. The Bible does say, we can be known by our fruit. Our hearts are the earth that the Holy Spirit plants his seeds into and what blossoms, love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, helps to show who we are following. Whether I march or not, whether I go on mission trips or not, whether I attend church or not, whether I wear a cross or not, whether I pound the streets with Bible and tracts in hand do not specifically show Who I follow. But my love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control do. And against those things, there is no law.