Recognizing the Orange Tree





Galatians 5: 22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

“Check out the orange tree in my backyard,” your friend says. Following her out the door, you see dozens of trees. Which one is the orange tree? you wonder. While a botanist might know it by its leaves and branches, you will know the orange tree for sure if you see oranges hanging all over it.

Similarly, others know you’re a Christian by seeing the way you act or react when things happen in your life—good and bad. Does your life display the fruits of the Holy Spirit that Paul mentions in this Galatians verse? Or does it show only sin and mistakes that hurt you and others—and God—sometimes even break the law.

To remember these nine fruits of the Holy Spirit, think of this:

Three fruits for you: love, joy, and peace

Three fruits for others: longsuffering (patience), kindness, and gentleness

Three fruits for God: goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.

Then, with the help of the Holy Spirit, cultivate these fruits so everybody can see that you belong to Jesus. Those fruits will be hanging all over you.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Please fill me to the brim with the Holy Spirit’s power and produce in me your fruits so others will know I’m a Christian. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

Truth: God gives us His fruits if we will deny ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to influence everything in our lives.


Carol Middlekauff