Unripe or Ripe?

Joan Winifred

A friend of mine, yesterday, described me as a piece of fruit..called me a banana-lol…(yeah, i’m fruity alright!:) in her opinion, because “she thinks” i am tall & elegant..i did have a yellow scarf headband in my hair/brown heels that gave me a couple more inches.

Actually, we were having a (spiritual) conversation about maturity and commenting on a great illustration we both read/enjoyed..about fruit.

What is your favorite fruit?

Btw: do love bananas..the taste/texture & plantains, too..it would be difficult to choose a fav fruit. Yet, with all the variety of fruit available for consumption..the primary key of choice/preference is ripeness. How enjoyable, refreshing, tasty-goodness of any ripe piece of fruit..a pleasant-satisfying experience of eating, eh?!

Don’t most of us enJoy the most of a piece of fruit when it’s ripe..mature? here’s the illustration we read:

“When an experienced housewife selects fresh fruit at the market, she does not always choose the biggest pieces or the least expensive ones. Rather she looks for items that are ripe. She wants fruit that has good taste and aroma and that offers healthy nutrients. Yes, she selects fruit that has reached a full state of growth, that is mature.”

Gotta eat your veggies too..’peas’…

“Where is the love?”

Where is the self-control? Where is the kindness? Where is the goodness? Where is the patience? Where is the forgiveness? Where is the gentleness? and Where is the compassion?? among “spiritually mature” fruit…

“When you examine ripe fruit at the market, you see that not all the pieces are identical. Yet, they do share some characteristics that identify them as being ripe. Similarly, mature […] may be of different nationality, background, health, age, and experience. There are even differences in personality or culture. Still, all who grow spiritually develop qualities that identify them as being mature. How so?”

When we humbly cultivate these positive fruits…we contribute to unity/peace..everywhere/anywhere.  Self-control is essential..it’s more than breathing techniques…a clean body, a clean mind and clean speech/clean living harmoniously..reveal/indicate our (depth of) ripeness -lol…that sounds funny. Our speech, our actions, our compassion or lack thereof reveal us to be ripe or unripe…mature or immature..spiritually speaking.

Powerful/Practical points for my “personal” consideration found in James…3:1-18:

“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment.  For we all stumble many times. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able to bridle also his whole body.  If we put bridles in the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide also their whole body.  Look also at ships: Although they are so big and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the man at the helm is inclined to go. So, too, the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it makes great brags. See how small a fire it takes to set a great forest ablaze!  The tongue is also a fire. The tongue represents a world of unrighteousness among our body members, for it defiles all the body and sets the whole course of life on fire, […]  For every kind of wild animal and bird and reptile and sea creature is to be tamed and has been tamed by humans.  But no human can tame the tongue. It is unruly and injurious, full of deadly poison.”

A spring does not cause the fresh water and the bitter water to bubble out of the same opening, does it? 12  My brothers, a fig tree cannot produce olives, or a grapevine figs, can it? Neither can salt water produce fresh water.13  Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him by his fine conduct demonstrate works performed with a mildness that comes from wisdom. 14  But if you have bitter jealousy and contentiousness in your hearts, do not be bragging and lying against the truth. 15  This is not the wisdom that comes down from above; it is earthly, animalistic, demonic. 16  For wherever there are jealousy and contentiousness, there will also be disorder and every vile thing. 17  But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, reasonable, ready to obey, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, not hypocritical. 18  Moreover, the fruit of righteousness is sown in peaceful conditions for those who are making peace.”

Am i growing to spiritual maturity?

what does my speech/choice of words reveal?

am i peaceable? reasonable? merciful? impartial? etc., etc, etc.

do i strive to build bridges or do i construct walls..

“Is it your inclination, or even your pattern, to build a wall, so to speak, that separates you from the offender? Or do you try to construct a bridge across the gap between the two of you? A mature Christian wants to—yes, strives to—build bridges, not walls.” (excerpts including illustration from article: Are You Reaching the Stature that Belongs to Christ?) {Jesus set an amazing example of peace/forgiveness/compassion/healing/love that i appreciate.}

Since i value ripe fruit/(spiritual maturity)…and progress, obviously, i have stuff to work on (and IF i want to be refreshing/not sour to those around me)…i’ve found ancient biblical wisdom will help me..in my compassion course…so,..gonna go make a fruit salad…lol:) What a YUMMY gift of God– our planet earth and the bounty of fresh fruit to sustain LIFE!..(healthy/spiritual fruit can nourish/sustain our spiritual life/well-being!:)

(publishing 11/2/15 @1:15 p.m.)