“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
I came to know the Lord 12 years ago. Ever since making that life-changing decision, I’ve experienced more judgment and confrontation from nonbelievers than I could ever imagine. I think one of the worst moments for me, since coming into the faith, was when I was 13 or 14. I was at school and I was trying to fit in with the popular crowd. The way I thought I could accomplish that was by becoming them. What they said, I said. What they did, I did. When they bought new shoes, I was running home to beg my mom to buy the same exact pair for me. Of course, this only got me so far, and thank God my mom had some sense in her and never allowed me to completely conform to my “friends,” or at least she tried her best. I remember I was going along with everything they were saying one day, and I think I was making fun of someone or saying something that was distasteful about something. That is when one of them said, “I like you because even though you’re a Christian, you’re still cool and do the things we do. You’re not like those boring Christians who are strict and follow all the rules.”
Ouch. Talk about a slap in the face, right?
It was in that moment when I knew I was headed down an unhealthy path and, more importantly, a lifestyle that was not reflecting the God that I claimed to know and follow. I quickly parted ways with that group of friends, and I am confident that because of that decision the Lord saved me from a lot of potentially poor decisions and unnecessary pain by not being in that group anymore.
Although that instance was ten years ago, it is still a reminder for me today to check myself, my actions, my heart, and my fruit. The Lord tells us in Luke 6 that we will be “known by our fruit.” You shouldn’t have to walk around with a sign saying, “I am a Christian!” or have your religious status on your facebook say a bible verse for people to know that you are a follower of Christ. People will know Who we follow by how we choose to live our lives. This is bold, my brothers and sisters. Jesus does not take this lightly in scripture,so nor should we take our lifestyle lightly as Christians.
All throughout scripture, Jesus brings everything back to the heart. Our thoughts and actions are a reflection of where our hearts are at. When Jesus says, “… for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks,” this is not to be taken as just a wise saying but also as an instruction. People will know us by our fruits, whether they are good or bad fruit, and our words are a direct outpouring of where are hearts are at. Be cautious and prayerful of the decisions you make, because it is not just a reflection of your character; more importantly, they are a reflection of the character of God.
What are some areas in your life that need pruning? Do you feel that when people look at your life, they see good fruits? A good way of knowing if you are on the right path is if people look at you and see Christ radiating through your words, actions and fruit, or do they just see “you”?
Keep Fighting the Good Fight,