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My wife just walked in with a container of strawberries freshly picked in the rain.  They are so fragrant.  Immediately my brain splashed across the inside of my eyeballs pictures of a mile high strawberry pie, heaps of sliced strawberries on bowls of cereal or better yet vanilla ice cream, and jars of fresh strawberry jam.  I wondered if Jesus ever had strawberries when He was a boy.  The only berries mentioned in the Bible are olive berries mentioned by Isaiah and James, Jesus’ brother.  There is no mention of blueberries, raspberries or huckleberries.  If this lack of mention meant lack of berries I find myself feeling sorry for their depravation of nature’s bounty.

What is interesting is what James had to say about olive berries.  He mentions them in chapter 3 where his illustration is that a fig tree cannot bear olive berries.  His point is that if we call ourselves Christians we cannot praise God one moment and then use the same mouth to say vicious and cruel things about people.  After all whether we like it or not those people we dislike were also made in God’s image.  His point is quite legitimate.  Consistency of character is the real fruit of a genuine walk with God.

When people know they are going to see us they should have a very good idea what they are going to encounter; basically unselfish kindness and concern for their well-being. I know this can be difficult, because let’s face it, it is delicious to say things that belittle others.  It makes us feel clever, big and important.  Guess what?  Our feelings are lying to us for it is just the opposite.  When we do so we aren’t belittling others.  We are belittling ourselves.

Written by Roger Bothwell on September 8, 2011

Spring of Life Ministry, PO Box 124, St.Helena, CA 94574