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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Yes, Other People Get to Name Your Fruit

A sweet friend gave us a clever Christmas gift: a dinner plate tastefully painted with fruit on it. Attached to it, a small envelope with this on the outside:  

Set this plate at the table for a family member who has exhibited the Fruit of the Spirit. Challenge everyone to show these characteristics and to look for them in one another. Parents AND children can reward one another with this plate when they see the Fruit of the Spirit lived out.

Inside the envelope are nine place cards, each with a specific fruit and examples of it lived out all based on the Galatians passage: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."

Enter Samantha.  The creative, crafty, observant one.  When asked to set the table, she often creates place settings with flowers, cut out pictures, etc.  A few weeks ago, she got out the fruit of the Spirit place cards and gave each of us one.  Here's how it played out:
  • Chase: Gentleness -- showing tenderness to others; being thoughtful and careful with little children; being able to respond with calm words.
  • Ava: Faithfulness -- being a true and loyal friend or family member; sticking up for others; keeping your promises.
  • Samantha: Goodness -- doing the things that are right and good, even when no one is watching; making good choices.
  • Daddy: Patience -- being able to wait calmly for something that is expected, even when you are so excited on the inside that you could explode.
  • Mommy: Self-control -- choosing not to give in to the powerful urge to speak or act in ways you know you shouldn't; or overcoming a bad habit or tendency.
I asked her why she chose each one, expecting her to give some exemplary behavior we'd exhibited.  Instead, she said, "I gave each person the thing they need to work on."

OUCH!

She said I need to work on not raising my voice at her when I get frustrated.  

Earlier in Matthew, Jesus is clear when he says, "By their fruit you will know them."  No one knows us better than those with whom we share a roof.  So, a little self-control with my tone of voice is what I'll be working on in the coming months.

What place card would your family give you?

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1 comment:

  1. Oh my word. How hilarious. I was thinking how sweet, and that I could see those qualities in each of you and then I busted out laughing that they are the ones she thinks you need to work on! :) But I love that she picked one for HERSELF to work on. That is big time introspection for a little tiny girl.

    I'm afraid my girls might pile up all 9 by my plate if they were going at it with Sam's intent.

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