Goodness - a fruit that reminds me of fruit. Think of biting into the perfect peach, not too firm, but not too soft either, whose juices drip wildly down your chin. Or chomping your way through the first ear of farm fresh corn, full and sweet and tender (of course, there's more dripping if you're a butter slatherer!) Then there's the succulent tomato that crowns the summer BLT and the fresh strawberry pie, topped off with freshly whipped, slightly sweet cream. Anyone hungry?

At the height of maturity, without spot or blemish, garden goodness brings great delight. But think of the disappointment that comes from the peach that looks and even smells ripe, but is mealy or rotten inside. Or the piece of corn that tastes like so much straw. 

When Paul talks about the fruit of goodness, it's easy for me to imagine that this fruit comes as the Spirit brings us into maturity. In Paul's 1st letter to the Thessalonians, he ends with this prayer: "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole body, soul and spirit be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus."

My husband, Dan, and I were talking this morning about sanctification - that process by which the Spirit makes us wholly holy, or completely good. We were wondering if it gets much air time these days, and if there are models to imitate, people who truly have become good, who inspire us to be good - without fault, blameless and pure (Phil 4). I'd like to think there are, I'd like to be one myself. I'm guessing it requires patience, and a willingness to be cultivated and pruned.

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