We Must Consider What Our Life Produces
The word fruit appears nearly two hundred times throughout Scripture. Coupling the word fruit with the word bear, as in bear fruit, bears fruit, and bearing fruit occurs twenty-nine times, split between the Old and New Testaments. Jesus often talks about the fruit that people bear, with the third of the Bible’s teaching on the subject coming from him.
Though people can’t produce physical, edible fruit, like a tree would, we do produce fruit in a figurative sense. It’s the output of our life, the results of what we do and don’t do.
In a spiritual sense we bear fruit when we tell others about Jesus, and they decide to follow him too.
In Jesus’s Parable of the Sower, he talks about a farmer scattering seed. The results vary depending on the conditions of where the seed falls, but the good seed produces a substantial yield of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times what the farmer planted (Matthew 13:23). But this isn’t a story about farm output. It’s how we bear fruit. It’s a metaphor about growing God’s kingdom through saved lives—or not.
In this way, the fruit we produce through our daily actions and words reflect who we are as a person and the priorities of our lives. As we do this, we also impact those around us. This can be for good, or it can be for bad.
Bear Good Fruit
Though there may be rare exceptions, people want to produce good fruit. We desire to benefit others by the things we do and through the things we say. When we live a life that produces what is good, we draw people to ourselves and can point them to Jesus. They want to be around us because of the positive ripples our life produces. This is how we bear fruit, desirable fruit.
We do this by treating the people we meet with respect and kindness. These traits are lacking in today’s polarized, adversarial world. Society has lost sight of civility.
We can change this by being intentional in our interactions with others. This includes family, friends, and those we meet throughout our daily life.
We can also make a positive difference by the things we do. This includes helping others, especially when we don’t have to. It means going out of our way to demonstrate kindness, offer compassion, and assist those in need.
Bear Bad Fruit
Just as we can produce good through our lives, we can also produce bad. Jesus talks about this too. He urges us to produce good fruit and not bad. He adds that we’re known by the fruit we produce, that people don’t gather figs from thorns or grapes from briers (Luke 6:24).
Bear Holy Spirit Fruit
As followers of Jesus, we want to produce good fruit, spiritual fruit. Paul talks about the fruit we bear in our lives through the Holy Spirit. With God’s Spirit indwelling in us we will produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). This may be the best way for us to bear fruit.
May we bear good fruit and have the fruit of the Spirit overflow from our lives. In doing so we will worship God and serve as a powerful witness to the world.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.