It’s a Sign

via Symptom

Dorothy Parker, best known for her smart-mouthed wisecracking poety and one-liners, was a poet, writer, critic and satirist.  Here’s a couple of examples:

~  “You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.

~  “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly.  It should be thrown with great force.

Here’s a sample of her wit in poetry:

symptom

When you read Parker’s biographical sketch, a realization occurs that she was writing out of her own personal angst, her writing but a symptom of what she experienced early on in a traumatic childhood.  The humor disguised a deeper, stronger coping mechanism to keep going on.  Often what comes out of our mouths and minds is a truer symptomatology of what’s in our hearts, than the actions of pretense, of lives without care.  Don’t take my word for it.  The Bible is my authority.

On one occasion Jesus told the surrounding crowds, “Listen and understand: It’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” [Matthew 15:10]

On another occasion Jesus told the leaders of Israel, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.” [Matthew 23:25]

Am I suggesting we shouldn’t live humorous carefree lives?  Not at all.  In fact it seems to me any Bible student would be intimately familiar with the phrase “abundant life,” and exactly from where this kind of life should originate.  What I’m suggesting is that we can’t see humor in general, or sarcasm in particular, as a face-value symptom of what’s going on inside a person.  There are other truer symptoms or signs of what it means to live authentically in our world as the Designer intended life.

I wrote about this in February this year under the Daily Post: Juicy.  But it bears repeating here, for I believe these are the symptoms or signs of authentic living.

Galatians 5:22-25
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

When God’s Spirit resides within us, He produces in us the evidence (symptomatology) of His indwelling power for living well.  None of these “fruits” are physical in themselves.  However, all these can be see as evidence by those observing our eyes, our faces, our actions, and our speech.  For each of these outward observation points will be influenced and governed by that which is inside us.  God’s Spirit.

Peaches

via Juicy

Living in Texas has its benefits, especially if you like your fruits – juicy.  When I was growing up in West Texas I looked forward to spring and summer because we had peach trees in our backyard.  There’s nothing better than walking about 10 paces out the door to a tree so loaded with fruit, we had to use 2 x 4 braces to hold up the limbs.  The whole tree wasn’t more than about 12-15 tall, but it was easily 25+ feet across and bearing a boatload of juicy peaches.  As a young boy I had to hold the fruit with both hands, because they were as big as my daddy’s fist.  Other families around us had plumbs, and some had apricots.  My mother put fruit in our freezer that lasted us through the winter every year.  What great memories.

peaches

Another favorite was cantaloupe.  One of my strong memories from childhood is stopping at a fruit stand outside of Odessa, then watching my mom and dad pick out a large paper bag stuffed with 8-10 cantaloupes about the size of a good dodgeball.  My mouth watered the whole 20 miles back to our house.  Mom would slice up and trim 2-3 cantaloupes in a bowl and chill them for our supper.  Finally at supper she would have to limit my intake, because that’s all I would eat!  The fruit was so juicy and fresh, it would run down my face onto my shirt, and everybody laughed.  Fun times.

God’s Word says the “fruit” of God’s Spirit is JUICY!  In fact, it has so much juice it is evidenced in a person of faith in at least 9 different ways.
Galatians 5:22-25
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
So my question becomes, “Just how juicy is your life in Christ?”  If Jesus really is the center of our being, the juiciest part of who we are, shouldn’t our inward and outward appearance reflect God’s glory?  Is your life filled to abundance in Christ through His own Holy Spirit?
John 10:10
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
What does your Spiritual fruit look like… is it Juicy?
fruit-of-the-spirit