The Proof is in the Fruit.

Although it is true that people may not fully know your personal relationship with God, if you truly have one with Him, then people should be able to see the fruit. And by “fruit” I mean the “Fruit of the Spirit.” I think of the “Fruit of the Spirit” as an outside representation of your relationship and growth in Christ. Just like you can identify an apple tree, because it has apples growing from it, you should be able to identify Christ in someone because they have His “fruit” growing all over them. I hope that makes sense to people who are new to this concept.

I see a lot of people that say “even if I don’t go to church, I still love God” or “God first” and have scriptures plastered to their bio on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram but their actions and words show something totally different? I myself, have been guilty of this.

Found in Galatians 5:22-23, the Fruit of the Spirit are listed below:

  1. love
  2. joy
  3. peace
  4. forbearance (patience)
  5. kindness
  6. goodness
  7. faithfulness
  8. gentleness
  9. self-control

You “love God,” but have no love for your neighbor. You “love God,” but complain about life and you’re ungrateful all the time. You “love God,” but you’re always causing drama in other people’s lives. You say “God first,” but you’re steady making your own plans without speaking to Him, and being patient for His answer. You “love God,” but disrespect people, and overlook the chance to help someone in need. You “love God,” but yet you place Him on the back burner every single day. You’re not faithful. You “love God,” but stay listening to music that glorifies everything that God said DOES NOT represent Him. You say “God first,” but worship food, sex, money and act like it is impossible to control yourself. How can you love God, but there’s no evidence in your life that you even know Him? Or even worse, that He even knows you? But we’ll get to that later.

This is not to judge or criticize anyone. Who am I to do that? We all are guilty of this. We all have at one point proclaimed to love God, but preceded to do every single thing God clearly says He hates! The “Fruit of the Spirit” is what loving God should look like. This is why I constantly have to step back and examine myself and remove anything that does not reflect Christ. And believe me, in this world, having the “Fruit of the Spirit” is not popular AT ALL. People love to see each other being messy, people love to be rude, petty, and disrespectful. People love to justify their sins and scream, “ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME.” ……….okay??? AND HE WILL JUDGE YOU. Seriously though, God is not playing with us. Especially those of us who claim to be Christians but our lives and words echo a different message. You can’t be a Christian and live for God only part-time. This is more of a lifestyle than it is a religion. If you truly love Him, you’ll be totally about His business. You’ll be making sure your life represents Him. When other believers and unbelievers look at you, they should see Christ and His “fruit.” Now please hear me when I say that this does not mean we won’t mess up or fall short of His glory, but it is to remind us what having a growing relationship with Christ is supposed to look like. If you mess up, sincerely repent, adjust something, and turn away from that sin. We’ve gotten way too comfortable with living in our sin (but that’s a different message for a different day lol). Show love and kindness the next time someone does you dirty. Show patience when times are hard and you need God to come through. You CAN control yourself and stop having sex with people who aren’t your spouse, and show goodness to those in need.

One of my friends in a group text said, “I’d rather be an outcast now, than be cast out later” and this is nothing but truth. People are going to think you’re a weird “Jesus freak,” they are going to call you lame and say you’re “no fun,” they won’t understand why you’re so “obsessed with Jesus.” They’re going to try to disguise sin with the words…. “we’re just having fun” or “learn how to loosen up a bit.” And I am speaking from experience, because I had “friends” who said this and still say these things to me. From this point forward, there will be no more of me believing those lies. I have a greater calling and mission that I am working towards and I refuse to listen to that. My soul is way more important than that. They’re going to try to remind you of your past self and sin, and they won’t understand why it is so important to live for Christ … but so what? Tell them “that’s fine,” love them from a distance, and keep it pushing. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” This is so beautiful! When you are saved, the old you is wiped away!! So what does your new life look like?

Furthermore, Matthew 7:21 says “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven”…… if we skip down to verse 23 it says, “Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”

If that doesn’t give you chills, I don’t know what will!!! Can you imagine coming before God and expecting him to let you into the Kingdom of Heaven just because you tweeted “I love God” that one time 5 years ago? But then He tells you to get away from Him, He never knew you? Wow.

But in all seriousness, if God “knows you” and you have a relationship with Him, it should look like it. It’s not enough to just say “I love God,” but you must live it as well. This is a reminder to myself and to those who will listen, that the proof is in the fruit. What does your fruit look like?

-Jordyn Austin

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