Costco can't be making any money on their fruit.
I've worked out the numbers and they just don't add up.
I routinely check the prices between Costco and other local grocery stores on several produce items. It's not even close. Even the bargain grocery stores - they're just not playing in the same league. For instance, I can pay $3 for a coin purse of about 13 shriveled, anemic blueberries at ....we'll call it "Fare-4-Fewer;" or, I can pay $3.50 for a 50 gallon drum of the most plump, juicy, so-that's-what-Joshua-and-Caleb-found-in-Canaan blueberries at Costco. I'm convinced Costco's fruit sales are just a front for some sort of illegal, mob activity. It's the only way they can offer these kind of deals. (And don't get me started on the straight-out-of-1974 $1.50 hot dog and drink steal! We keep looking for a way to end world hunger - Costco has had the answer for 30 years now)
I'm reminded of Paul's picture of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control. The list of these fruit stand in clear opposition to the list of the works of the flesh immediately preceding: "fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels," etc. The Spirit-led life ought to stand in a much starker contrast to the works of the flesh than Costco's fruit does to the bargain brand variety. The differences should be obvious.
So, why can it seem so hard to pick out the Christian from the crowd? Why do Christians often demonstrate the weak, anemic bargain store variety of spiritual fruit? Further, why does it sometimes seem so difficult to see the fruit of the Spirit rather than the works of the flesh in my own life?
Perhaps Romans 6 can give us a little perspective.
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. (Romans 6:20-22, NASB)
So, where are they going with this? How is this connected to the fruit of the Spirit? All we can say is be watching for part 2 in next month's newsletter. Until then, may God continue developing the rich, effective, delightful fruit of the Spirit in your lives.
Your district administration
For more messages from your district leadership team and info on upcoming events, subscribe to our district newsletter HERE.
For more information on district events visit our district calendar.
The adjacent video is our second in the "Summer Shorts" videos documenting what God is doing on the Southern California District. This month we take a look at how God continues to transform the life of Jose Fimbres and his family as they serve at Southeast Church of the Nazarene in San Diego.