By Beth Pinyerd
For the Opelika Observer
I love how the summer months blend into the subtle changes of cooler weather.
The smells of different fruits made into jams and jellies in my grandmother’s kitchen was an annual memory maker for me. As a child, my grandmother would take the time to allow my chubby little hands to mix, stir and taste the delicious preserves before they were canned. The spicy smells radiated through the home and even touched the outside. Different fruits blended together made such a tasty treat!
God uses delicious, tasty fruits as examples of how we should conduct our lives and as a standard by which others can know that we are Christians. Galatians 5:22 says, “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” The heart-fruit of the people in our community is so very ripe in outreach to others in times of need. We are so blessed to have citizens who truly care.
Love is truly the very spring and essence of life. Love goes beyond human understanding. God is love, so when a person is filled with His Love, there is an innate desire to serve others.
When teaching joy to young children, I always have my bottle of Joy dishwashing detergent handy for them to enjoy seeing the bubbles and suds. Joy lights up our faces and our hearts and it truly impacts others. Joy is the inward hope that we have about life and God promises us eternal life through His son Jesus Christ.
Peace is based on faith and trust in God. It does not allow strife or dissension with our fellow man. We must also extend gratitude to God on how He made us so unique. Life is a gift and happiness with who we are radiates peace. Helping others with a heart of peace benefits others.
Longsuffering is being patient and forbearing difficult times in life. It is facing adversities in life without growing bitter. This is a time when self-control with love is expressed. Forgiveness is life’s key with this Fruit of the Spirit. This encourages us to keep on living and giving to others.
Kindness represents friendliness, generous and being considerate to others. Kindness is taking time to care.
Goodness is doing what is right in the sight of the Lord and man. We want to serve others with Love.
Faithfulness is trusting and knowing that God will keep His promises. This also relates to people in being a trustworthy person whom others can depend on.
Self-control is being able to restrain to do what is right in what we say and do over our entire body, soul and spirit. Mildness and calmness diffuses into other people’s lives.
Opelika and our community not only grows fruit for us to eat, but it also provides fruit for us to live by and to share with others. Those of us who have lived in other places realize that our community is a little heaven on earth.