The Harry and David catalogs have hit my mailbox already, and it’s August as I write this post. Really? I don’t even want to think about Christmas yet.
However, Harry and David turned my mind toward fruit and gifts. Kind of their specialty.
God’s into fruit and gifts too.
1 Corinthians 13 gives a list of things anyone would want: prophetic gifting, the gift of faith, the gift of tongues, the gift of knowledge, generosity, sacrifice.
It’s an interesting list.
Interesting because each item, many of them spiritual gifts, can easily feed one’s pride due to the high value placed on it in church circles. Have you been there? They may say spirituality isn’t determined by what giftings you have, but if you’re not speaking in tongues yet…well. (Love you, Church, just saying.)
Note how 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, follows a chapter on the gifts of the Spirit.
So, let’s talk gifts. Gifts, including the spiritual kind, are something we receive. Something we’re given by someone (or Someone) else.
We don’t merit a particular gift. Our natural abilities don’t determine them either. A spiritual gift marks the work of the Holy Spirit through a believer at a specific time in a specific way. Paul specifies quite a few: service, administration, giving, and yes, even tongues.
Yet, in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul contrasts spiritual gifts with a fruit of the Spirit. Specifically, love.
Without love? Tongues are just noise. Prophecy and knowledge don’t make me more of a person. Generosity and sacrifice gain me nothing.
Love is different.
Fruit requires a process. Food, water, sunlight and soil work in partnership with the gardener who tends the plant.
In a word, relationship is required.
Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NIV)
So, fruit or gifts? Which one is better? What’s ideal? Spiritual gifts operating in the fruit of the Spirit.
Vine and branch connect to produce a crop of godliness while manifesting the work and presence of the Holy Spirit in a variety of ways—Jesus loving the world through His Church in the power of the Spirit.
What’s your take on spiritual gifts?
What gifts has the Holy Spirit manifested in you?
Which is easier to discern—gifts or fruit?
What does your crop look like?
Gifts are something we receive. Something we’re given. By Someone else. Click to tweet.
In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul contrasts spiritual gifts with a fruit of the Spirit. Specifically, love. Click to tweet.
Fruit requires a process. A seed. Sunlight. Soil. In a word, relationship. Click to tweet.
Vine and branch connect to produce godliness while manifesting the work and presence of the Holy Spirit. Click to tweet.