As many times as I’ve read the Bible through, there always seems to be something missing. Or rather, some fruits missing. I’m referring of course to the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians:
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! – Galatians 5:22-23
I’ve written about fruit before, a little. In general, I think the fruits of the Spirit nourish us and those around us. When we respond with one of them – kindness, gentleness come to mind – we help a situation, not hinder it. It ties back to the Beatitudes as well.
However, it seems the Apostle Paul, that most prolific writer of the New Testament epistles, left out a few giftings our world should never be without. Call them the unsung heroes, or the neglected fruit, if you will.
First up is sense of direction. Jonathon has this in spades. He has an inner GPS I sorely lack. He could navigate us out of the largest corn maze on the planet. He’d know when to turn left. He’d tell me when to go right, veer left and jog down. We’d emerge into bright daylight in a matter of minutes. I, however, learn a new place by getting lost there. Repeatedly. How many times while living in Scotts Valley did I accidentally end up on Hwy. 17 while trying to get onto Glen Canyon Road? Yeah. What does this fruit look like? I believe it’s shaped like a dumpy compass. Its flavor resembles mango, because is there anything more refreshing than finding your way home?
This naturally leads to common sense. Somehow, it ain’t so common anymore, if it ever was. Some synonyms are levelheadedness, practicality, prudence, native wit. It’s taking in a whole situation and coming up with a sound solution. Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came up with a solution to judge the people’s problems so Mo didn’t have to do it all (Exodus 18:17). Another more current example would be to keep a raincoat in each of your cars if you live in Shelton. Just saying. Common sense looks like a green ruler and tastes of citrus.
A beautiful woman who lacks discretion is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout. – Proverbs 11:22
Tact comes to mind as well. Diplomacy and sensitivity have similar definitions. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if people had more understanding and less attitude? Reality TV would wither on the vine. Tact would taste exactly like graham crackers and mimic the shape of pink berries. A small amount would last a long time.
Last but not least is humor. The Bible has humorous sections. It even contains sarcasm. But by and large humor is subjective. It can be taught. I’ve only met a couple of people with no sense of humor. They seemed…less than. I felt great pity for them because they got cheated out of one of the most delicious non-fruits ever. To be able to laugh at yourself when you wear the exact same shirt backwards again is a great gift. If you’re able to giggle hysterically after locking your keys in the car for the 3rd time in three days, even better. This, my favorite of the missing fruits, tastes like coffee and chocolate blended together. All the best flavors in one food item. Humor perks you up and calms you down. It’s also good for you.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. – Proverbs 17:22
Why aren’t these other attributes included in the fruit of the Spirit list? What do you think?