15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:15-20 NRSV)
I once heard it said of someone, “Your actions are speaking so loudly that I can’t hear what you are saying with your words.” The fruit that we produce seems to tell a lot about who we are and what is on the inside. And that’s true all around. Orange trees produce oranges. Rose bushes are where we go to find those beautiful and fragrant blossoms.
Jesus warned his disciples to be on guard for those people who claimed to be prophets, but were instead ravenous wolves. Watch how people behave. Their actions tell you a lot about who they are. And, by contrast, Jesus encouraged his followers to remember that a good tree would be known by its fruit.
I guess we need to be bearing the type of fruit that grows naturally from what is in our hearts. In the letter to the Galatian Christians, the Apostle Paul listed some of the fruits that come from a heart filled with the Holy Spirit. (The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23)
I wonder what kind of fruit people see in our lives?
Let me be one of the fruitful folk, whose life is a demonstration of what is produced by a heart that is filled with your Spirit. Amen.