My thoughts on this passage (Tyler Connoley):
As I read over the lists of fruit in Galatians 5, I can’t help but think of the movie musical Little Shop of Horrors. In that movie, a plant fanatic named Seymour Krelborn finds an unusual plant at a little shop in China Town and takes it home. Unfortunately, the plant isn’t doing very well. So, as any good movie-musical character would do, he sings the plant a ballad. Here are some of the lyrics:
I’ve given you southern exposure to get you to thrive.
I’ve pinched you back hard, like I’m s’posed ta.
You’re barely alive.
I’ve tried you at levels of moisture from desert to mud.
I’ve given you grow-lights and mineral supplements.
What do you want from me, blood?
When we find ourselves not producing the fruits of the spirit (or producing the fruits of the flesh), our first response is usually to reprimand ourselves and say something like, “I’ve got to be more peaceful!” But that’s not helpful, and usually just makes us less peaceful. On the other hand, when Seymour Krelborn had a plant that wouldn’t thrive, his first response was to see if maybe it was planted in the wrong kind of soil or getting the wrong kind of food. Did it need more sun? Less water? He knew enough about plants to know that simply saying, “Produce fruit!” was not the answer.
When we find ourselves not experiencing God’s peace, love, or gentleness, the cause is probably located in one of these spiritual areas: soil, food, or water. It’s not that we need more willpower, but probably that we need more of God’s sun in our lives. Perhaps we’re drowning ourselves in non-spiritual pursuits. Or could it be we’ve planted ourselves in bad soil? Or maybe we simply need some grow-lights and supplements for our soul. Whatever it is, when we get what we need spiritually, the fruits of the spirit will naturally follow, just as a plant properly tended naturally thrives and grows fruit.
Thought for the day: Where in your life are the places that you need to reground yourself in God? What spiritual supplement do you need to grow and be spiritually healthy today?
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to start, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.