"Forgotten Fruits"Bro. Ron Rupé
9/9/2001 11:00 AM
"Sweet, precious, touching and romantic aren't valued today." The world thinks a quick retort (a glib tongue) is a skill to be desired. It is viewed as a talent to be sarcastic, rude and crude. They're proud of those things. If we aren't careful, we can be caught up in this. Custom, courtesy, and politeness seem to have been forgotten. "Forgotten fruits" are qualities and characteristics that seem to be forgotten by mankind today, even in the church. They are given little attention by teachers and preachers. Only three of the eight fruits of the spirit listed here get much attention. Many lessons, sermons, and songs are given for love, for joy, and for peace. These three fruits are somewhat selfish in nature, all focusing on self, at least the way we generally examine them. This could be because the world focuses on self. Have you heard a message about gentleness, songs about temperance, a series of lessons on meekness? These are attributes everyone, especially the church, needs today. Let's focus on gentleness, kindness and being courteous. These are not selfish in nature. Gentleness is displayed to others, kindness and courteousness are done to others. We need to ask ourselves, "Have I forgotten these fruits?"
Gentleness - not severe, rough, or violent; not too much, too fast, or too extreme
"A gentle stream" doesn't bring to mind rapids, but calm. Gentleness is to treat others so as to calm, soothe, or make quiet. A gentleman or gentlewoman brings calm or quiet by their presence. It is the ability to take a fragile situation and through your skill of handling it to keep it from breaking. We need to keep from rending people apart. The gentle person can step into a touchy situation and with carefulness and sensitiveness strengthen and bring together. This is why the Bible tells us a spiritual one is to restore the lost.
1 Thessalonians 2:7
When a child is fussy and troubled and crying, its mother is gentle. She tries to quiet it down. The apostle Paul describes gentleness this way. Be gentle as a nurse.
2 Timothy 2:24
The servant of God shouldn't cause the strife, but by gentleness should end the strife. A gentle person can help to make it better. They put the fire out.
The opposite of "brawler" is one who is gentle. A gentle person is the one who causes the brawling to cease. If we don't, it means we have forgotten this fruit. Ask, "What are the results of my words and actions? Do they escalate the strife, or do they calm the trouble? Is this a forgotten fruit in my life?"
Choosing to do good rather than harm; friendly; sympathetic; not mean or cruel; tender and compassionate. We can choose to be kind or to be cruel.
"a law of kindness" - This means kindness governs what we say and do. The law of kindness should guide our actions. The law of the world is the law of cruelty. Do we make derogatory and rude remarks when someone goofs up? There should be no harm in us. We don't want to be governed by what governs the world. Kindness should govern our words and actions always. Especially when others are struggling, discouraged, or fail. We should have a balm for them. When we make a mistake, we look for someone to help make it better. We get embarrassed, and we look for others to help us with it, to help us understand that we aren't an utter failure because we made a mistake.
"Just joking!" can sometimes be a cover up for being mean and cruel. After a while it isn't funny anymore. Are we always cutting people down with our words? People have an emotional bank account. Rudeness withdraws from our emotional account. Kindness and encouragement makes a deposit in the account. You can't make more withdrawals than you make deposits. If you never make a deposit, that's when you get in trouble. You can joke with people if you make enough deposits. From time to time, whether you mean it or not, you'll make a withdrawal. Be sure to keep enough deposits so as not to break the bank.
1 Peter 3:8
We often don't consider this as biblical. Being courteous is being thoughtful of others, polite, having good manners. Charity doth not behave itself unseemly. It doesn't get out of order. "No unmannerly or rude man is a Christian." - Clarke's Commentary. Without necessarily going so far as Clarke, being rude is not becoming to a Christian. People often smooth over being rude by saying, "I'm just being honest." You can be honest and still be courteous and polite. For example: Praising a child's artwork. We can find something good to say - "Good job! Nice scribbles!" We don't have to be blunt to be honest. We can be honest and still be kind. Can you find something good to say? Every place has its own rules of manners and courtesy that need to be respected. There are proper actions and proper dress for various places and occasions. You have to conduct yourself in certain ways to gain certain privileges. Think about the other person.
"in honor preferring one another" - A Bible definition of courtesy.
Titus 3:8, 14
"I will that thou affirm constantly..." Maintain good works. Don't be unfruitful. "Are you wise and endewed with knowledge?" Show it by your good conduct - pure, peaceable, gently, easy to entreat, full of good fruits.