I was born in Benue State, a state located in the middle-belt region of Nigeria. Benue State is popularly known as “the Food Basket of the Nation” and rightly so, because in all the years that I have lived in other regions of Nigeria and now in Canada, I am yet to see a land that NATURALLY compares, in fertility and diversity of agricultural produce.
I am not exaggerating, folks. 😅
Let me give you an example.
Mangoes. I cannot even count the species of mangoes that I ate growing up. From around April every year, trees will begin to fill up with luscious, juicy mango fruits. Guess what? The different species had very cute names. 😁
We had Peter Mango. (I am not making these names up, friends. Look it up. 😅) Peter Mangoes are gigantic, typically bigger than your hand can hold. So, you would cut open a small section of its thick skin close to the top and use a spoon to drink up the juice of the fruit inside. Yummy, yummy in ya tummy. 😋💃🏽
Then, there is Julie Mango. That one has a more tender skin, allowing you to eat everything – outer skin, juice within, everything. Délicieuse! 💃🏽
Kerosene Mango has green, non-edible skin but oh-so-juicy inside. 🤤
I could go on and on.
You can simply imagine the joy we felt when mango seasons rolled by; and the disappointment we felt whenever we arrived at a particular tree and found that it didn’t produce fruit.
Self-check – Fruitfulness
It is God’s expectation that we produce fruit – the right kind of fruit.
It is also our responsibility to check the kinds of fruit that we produce – and how much of a certain fruit we do produce.
“What kind of fruit do I produce?” “Am I producing enough of this kind of fruit?”
“Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:20)
I was reflecting on this, and I thought of 3 kinds of fruits I would love to see in myself:
- Excellence: Doing things properly, and beyond expectation.
- Integrity: Being ethical, with or without an audience.
- Resilience: Sticking to the course, no matter what.
What kinds of fruit will you like to see yourself produce?
Fruit Check for Relationships
There are 3 other kinds of fruits I would recommend that one looks out for, in a potential partner, especially at the onset of the relationship. This is irrespective of their physical appearance, the attraction, social status, or what title they hold in church. Fruit is key. Fruit is evident of what they really carry inside.
- Kindness: How do they speak to you? (This is only one of the ways to check kindness!)
- Support: How do they treat your dreams or aspirations?
- Fairness: How do they treat others?
What determines the kind of fruit a plant or tree produces?
The seed (and more specifically, the embryo).
When a mango seed is planted and maintained in the right environment, it will grow into a mango tree and produce lots of mango fruits.
Similarly, when the word of God is planted inside you, and you receive it (believe in it), it births the nature of God in you which in turns produces desirable fruit including love for others, peace within and with others, control over oneself, integrity/being dependable, patience, perseverance, among others.
🤔 What if you already became a Christian, accepted God’s word, but are still deficient in some fruit? Don’t you worry! You will need to employ the grafting technique in farming. Feed on what the word of God says about that specific fruit and before you know it, you will begin to produce that fruit as well! It is just the same technique that farmers use to make a sour orange tree produce sweet fruit!
Next time, we will talk about “the right environment” for our flourishing.
But for this week, I hope you start to desire and working towards producing some good fruit in your personal and professional life. 💚 And I hope that you get the opportunity to munch on some fruit you enjoy! 😜 Yummy in your tummy! 😋