Bob Tamasy: Growing Fruit That Has No Season

Thursday, January 7, 2021 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

People have often talked about the “dog days of summer,” but if there’s a real dog-days section of the calendar, I’d vote for the period between January and mid-March. The holidays and all the anticipation leading up to them is over; temperatures are typically cold, forcing us indoors; daylight is in short supply, and most plants have paused in their life cycles.

 

During my college days, I found the winter quarter to be the gloomiest time of year. Many days seemed dark and dismal, and if you were disposed to feelings of depression, that was when they would appear.

 

Even though I never worked on a farm, I suspect this is a relative down time for most people in the agricultural realm.

For those that grow peaches, oranges, apples, or other types of fruit, their greatest concern is whether an extended period of frigid weather will arrive to damage or ruin the crops they’ll harvest later in the year. The growing season is still months away.

 

But have you ever considered there’s one type of fruit that has no growing season, that if cultivated properly, can flourish all year long?

 

We read about this in Galatians 5:22-23. It says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Again such things there is no law.” Some people wrongly refer to these as the “fruits” of the Spirit, but the original Greek expresses this in the singular, as “fruit.” As a footnote in one of my Bibles explains, “The Spirit produces fruit which consists of nine characteristics or attitudes that are inextricably linked with each and are commanded of believers throughout the New Testament.”

 

In other words, we’re not to exhibit love but be impoverished in terms of patience. Kindness we display should be accompanied by traits such as gentleness and self-control. But you might say (as I often do), “I’m just not a patient person.” That might be true, in our natural life. However, the so-called Christian life is not to be lived out through our own effort; it’s truly a work of God’s Spirit within us.

 

My friend, Oswald Chambers, whom I look forward to meeting one day on the other side of eternity, writes in his devotional, My Utmost For His Highest, “we should continue to turn to God as children, being continuously converted every day of our lives. If we trust in our own abilities, instead of God’s, we produce consequences for which God will hold us responsible.”

 

A lack of innate patience, I suppose, might be my equivalent to the apostle Paul’s “thorn in the flesh.” I prayed for patience once, but was upset when God didn’t give it to me immediately. I continue to learn that the only path to patience is by going through circumstances that demand that I be patient.

 

But I do believe I’ve grown more patient than I used to be. Hopefully the other aspects of the fruit of the Spirit also manifest themselves more abundantly in my life than they once did. If that’s true, it’s not because of my own sweat and straining. It’s because God’s presence and power are becoming more evident in my life. As John the Baptist said of Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

 

But why is our spiritual fruit-bearing important? Isn’t it enough that we demonstrate it from time to time, like when we go to church, attend a Bible study, or take part in some other kind of spiritual activity?

 

Nope. Because bearing fruit is one of the evidences that we are true followers of Jesus Christ. If elements of the fruit of the Spirit, as listed above, are absent from our lives, it shows that we either are not truly His disciples, or that He still has a lot of work to do in our hearts.

 

Speaking to His disciples, Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit…. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:1-8).

 

So as we look out our windows and notice the trees have not yet begun to bud, and find our favorite spring and summer fruits can’t be found at the grocery store yet, we recognize we’re in a season of earthly dormancy. However, if someone were to visit your spiritual “fruit stand” and inspect your produce, would they find rich, ripe fruit?

 

As we’re still in the early stages of another year, this might be a good question to ask ourselves. If the answer is no, then we should rightly follow up that question with, “Why not?”


* * *

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published, ”Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna,” is translated into more than 20 languages and sent via email around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is btamasy@comcast.net.


The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Offering Free Family History Event

Bob Tamasy: Build A New Habit: Developing Better, Healthier Habits

Activate Your Faith Is Sermon Topic At Metro Tab Church Sunday


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is offering a free, online, virtual family history event from Feb. 25-27. The event is for anyone who is interested in discovering their roots ... (click for more)

When I used to bowl regularly years ago, I would occasionally roll a high score – in the low 200s – but couldn’t do that on a consistent basis. I was stuck with averages between 130 and 140. ... (click for more)

Metropolitan Tabernacle Church Senior Pastor Dr. Steve Ball will speak on the subject "Activate Your Faith" Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The worship will be led by Pastor's Adam and Olivia Aziz ... (click for more)



Church

The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Offering Free Family History Event

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is offering a free, online, virtual family history event from Feb. 25-27. The event is for anyone who is interested in discovering their roots and preserving the stories of their lives. Registration is now open at RootsTech.org. According to local officials, “RootsTech takes place every year in Salt Lake City, Ut. The event is ... (click for more)

Bob Tamasy: Build A New Habit: Developing Better, Healthier Habits

When I used to bowl regularly years ago, I would occasionally roll a high score – in the low 200s – but couldn’t do that on a consistent basis. I was stuck with averages between 130 and 140. The reason was simple: I kept doing the same thing the same way, expecting different results. To become a better bowler, I needed to change my form and technique. It's much the same for ... (click for more)

Breaking News

County Schools Will Stay On Virtual Learning Next Week Unless School Board Decides Differently On Thursday Night

Due to the current Phase Tracker level of 1.02 percent based on local COVID-19 trend data for the five-day average, all Hamilton County Schools will continue a remote learning schedule next week. Officials noted that Wednesday ’s active case count was at 3,096 cases versus the peak on Jan. 11 of 4,717 active cases. However, officials said, "The Hamilton County School Board ... (click for more)

Cleveland City Schools To Resume In-Person School For All Students Starting Monday

Cleveland City Schools will go back to in-person school for all students next Monday. Officials said, "We continue to monitor active case counts and other data points in our community. In consultation with the health department and a downward trend of local cases, the district will be in the Yellow Phase the week of January 25-29. All students will be in a traditional, in-person ... (click for more)

Opinion

It's Time For Impact Fees

This letter is regarding the potential high density development on Snowhill Road in Ooltewah. Growth is good. But it needs to be responsible growth. It would be instructive to see studies by other communities who have already gone through this so we can understand just what is the taxpayer cost burden of these high density developments. Additional taxes to add infrastructure, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Vols Ain't Dead

Matt Hayes, a writer for the SaturdayDownSouth.com website, was blistering in his view of what has been allowed to happen to the once-mighty University of Tennessee football program just hours after coach Jeremy Pruitt went down in flames on Monday. “I’ve got some harsh words for those in power at Tennessee, something they don’t want to hear but better embrace. It’s not the 1990s ... (click for more)