Today’s Word: ‘Fruit’ as in… a shopping list of the best fruit from page 168.
I’ve said this before, but if for some strange reason all I could have of the Christians Scriptures was one page, then I’d want that to be page 168.
On page 168 of my translation of the Christian Scriptures, the early Christian leader a.k.a. Paul, the Apostle, provides a list of the essential ingredients of the Spirited life. Paul lays out a veritable fruit basket of goodness that leads to thriving, spirited lives. The list is found in Galatians 5:22-23 and includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Paul calls this list of goodness “the fruit of the Spirit’ which leads those who would plant, nurture and cultivate such fruit toward more thriving lives.
It’s a good list. It’s an important list, perhaps now more than ever.
Some of us who may have grown up going to bible camp or vacation bible school or Sunday School, or had a terrific grandmother who taught us ancient wisdom while we baked cookies with her, learned a song that set these words to music because everything’s easier to learn and remember when set to music. And cookies, well, they certainly make everything easier. But interestingly, that song and most of the newer versions that have followed swapped out the original word generosity with the word goodness.
Hmmm. My goodness.
I dare say we may have lost something in the translation. These ancient words from Galatians are central to our thriving especially now.
Friends, if we get these words right, we get just about everything else right. Right? And here’s why:
Love creates joy which brings peace. In that peace, we experience more patience. When we’re patient we show more kindness. When we’re intentionally leaning into kindness we practice wider generosity and generosity leads the entire human community into deeper faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control with one another and the world around us.
That’s good fruit. What’s growing in you today? That’s Today’s Word and I’m sticking to it.