I can’t help but wonder, when God made us on the 6th day, did He smile a bit at the pineapple qualities He placed in man? I know it seems silly to find commonalities between humans and this strange fruit. But when I see pineapples in the produce aisle, their uniqueness holds my attention. They are so different than the neighboring apples, oranges, bananas, and grapes. Thus, in typical nerd fashion, I did some research on the pineapple. The more I read about this interesting fruit, the more I saw myself (and you) reflected in it.
Did you know?
One pineapple takes a minimum of 730 days to grow before it can be picked.
That’s two years of growth needed for the pineapple to mature and produce anything worth eating. Every time you eat a pineapple, that sweet fruit took years to get to your plate! As Christians, our spiritual life is similar. Before we can produce and sustain any fruits of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23), we must grow.
When we grow in the grace and knowledge of God (2 Peter 3:18), we will produce fruit! But how? How do we grow in grace and knowledge?
You guessed it. Through the Bible.
The Bible is our soil, nourishing us with all that we need. In fact the Bible tells us, “like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow…”(1 Peter 2:2)
But we must remember, like the Pineapple, growing can take time. If you find yourself struggling to produce the fruits of Galatians, you’re not alone. I have to work on producing these fruits in prayer and reading God’s Word. It’s the only way to grow!
Did you know?
The thorns on the outside of a pineapple are a defense mechanism to keep the fruit safe from predators.
When we go to pick up a pineapple, we rethink doing so. It’s rough thorns on the outside make us hold it gingerly. And cutting into the fruit is no easy task because of its thick skin. And though some of us might know or be a prickly and thick-skinned human, the real similarity is God has given us a defense mechanism too. A Helper that will warn us to steer clear of danger, teach us, and help us remember God’s Word! (John 14:26) This Helper is the Holy Spirit, and it’s the best defense we could ask for. Take a look at this list of qualities our Personal Bodyguard, given to us by God, has:
The Spirit is always with us. 1 Corinthians 6:19
The Spirit gives us power. Acts 1:8
The Spirit gives us hope. Romans 15:13
The Spirit frees us. 2 Corinthians 3:17
The Spirit advocates for us. John 14:16
The Spirit allows us to feel God’s love. Romans 5:5
The Spirit tells us what to say. Mark 13:11
If we think a pineapple has a unique, cool, and effective defensive mechanism, that is nothing compared to the Holy Spirit! In a world where we are in constant spiritual battle with Satan and his evil schemes, we must rely on and listen to the defense of the Holy Spirit.
Did you know?
Pineapples are a symbol of hospitality.
Pineapples are native to South America. When Europeans first saw and tasted the fruit, it became a must have food everyone wanted. The problem was, in colonial times, exporting pineapple from South America to longer distances was a struggle. The fruit could go bad or be lost during its travels, making it a rare delicacy. Only a select few had access to pineapples, and to gift or receive it was a symbol of hospitality, kindness, and friendship. To give up your pineapple for another, well, that was just plain generous!
Pineapples are not so rare now, but it can be argued hospitality is. In a world that is all about one’s personal gain, selfishness, and busy schedules, it’s no wonder we can lose sight of what it means to share and welcome others into our social groups, homes, and even churches.
Like pineapples, Christians should also be a symbol of hospitality to the world. It is important to God we practice hospitality (Romans 12:13) by providing for the less fortunate (Isaiah 58:7) and doing so without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9).
Our homes and churches are great places to start reaching out and implementing hospitality. Fellowship and food are ways to bring people together and into God’s presence.
Pineapples and Us
There you have it! Three ways that when we now look at a pineapple, we are reminded of the need to grow, the Holy Spirit as our defender, and how practicing hospitality is important. I certainly have not mastered spiritual growth. I often do not heed the warnings of the Holy Spirit, with negative consequences as a result. And practicing hospitality was not high on my list of priorities. But I am now seeing areas in which I need to strive to embrace some qualities of the pineapple. Do you need to do the same?
Be aware, the only way for us to gain the Holy Spirit (our Defender) is through Christ. If you are interested in learning more information on what it means to accept Christ in your life, and be gifted the Holy Spirit to be your guard, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since discussing pineapples and hospitality, share some of your favorite recipes in the comments below that include using pineapples! I would love to try them out, as I practice more instances of hospitality!