Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fruit Pinchers Beware

“Oh great,” I quietly moan as Mr. Demanding enters my shop. “Lord, give me grace to help him without losing my patience.” As the boisterous customer who believes he’s the only person on earth yaps his orders, I smile, and pretend to enjoy serving him. I wonder if there’s an easier way to grow the fruit of the Spirit. If only these fruit pinchers would leave me alone…

Just when I think my Peace has matured to a rosy shade of ripeness, Mrs. Hateful pummels it by criticizing my husband. Now it lies in the dust of a pity party, bruised and nicked.

Then there’s Kindness. I’ve prayed and meditated on Scripture to grow it into a plump, sweet offering fit for the King. Mr. Blustery embarrasses me in front of three friends at church. I gaze down at a slimy mass of annoyance. Foiled again.

I thought Self-control was coming along nicely. I’d only indulged in one dessert a day for the last three weeks, and hadn’t gossiped in 23 ½ hours. Until Ms. Busybody offered me a plate of fudge and the inside scoop on Mrs. Hateful. How dare she pinch twice!

I could have a basket full of Patient Pears, Faithful figs, and Goodness grapes by now if not for all these fruit-pinching brothers and sisters who impede my progress. I think I need to find a quiet plot of land away from civilization where I can cultivate my own private orchard. Where no fruit pinchers can find me and ruin my lovely crop. Where I can bask in the pride of a well-tended harvest.

 Did I say pride? Oh dear. Now I’m pinching my own fruit. Maybe I should revise my initial prayer: “Lord, give me grace to not sabotage my growth…”


  1. This is just great! The fruit pinchers of patience and kindness hit me this morning. I need to deal with the irritation I am feeling. I'm glad I read this first thing this morning. It will stick with me throughout the day.

    Thanks Jeanette and blessings.

  2. Oh my, this is so timely, Jen! Thank you for sharing. My fruit basket is pretty bruised lately. Trusting for grace and growth!

  3. Thanks for the confirmation, ladies. I preach to myself, you know!

    Fruitful day,

  4. Great spiritual lesson on the Fruits of the Spirit! Thanks!

  5. Of course I know this doesn't apply to YOUR congregation, Jeanette, but this delightful post reminds me of a quip I heard years ago: "Serving in ministry would be great if it weren't for the people." I commend you for being willing to put up with fruit-pinchers while they heal and become mature in Christ.

  6. Yet another great post my sister!!!

    Truth is if your gonna have delightful fruit your always gonna have some pinchers!!!

    I live smack in the middle of nowhere and still my fruit gets pinched...'Just sayin'.

    Have a fantastically blessed day sweetie!

  7. We had some worked done to our home last week and this week. Yesterday was not a good day for Hubby. I had to hear him say things that he shouldn't. I didn't want to add to his meltdown, so I just kept my mouth shut. I was hard. But this morning God reminded me of what was truly working on him. I could have allowed my fruit to spoil had I said anything.

  8. This is such a great entry, you could use it in your next book. You are so right on. Just when I finally get a handle on not being judgmental, I see someone wearing an outfit that my mind simply can't let be without inward comment. This is just one bruised fruit by the way. Unfortunately, I have others.

  9. Spoiled fruit and spoiled brat, am I at times. I think all should treat me as the perfect fruit basket that I am....bwuaaahaaa. No comments on that last sentence, huh? Great analogy.

  10. So... whether we live in the middle of nowheresville, or the big city lights blind us, we need to keep watch on our fruit, so the Master finds sweet plums there, not sour grapes, huh?


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