“Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree produce good fruit.” Matthew 7:17-18
A friend of mine compares our lives to a tube of toothpaste. When pressure is applied, black ooze sometimes seeps out. Another metaphor I like to use is that of a teacup. It looks pretty and inviting, but when it’s bumped we find out what’s really inside: either something sweet or something bitter and nasty spills out.
Jesus used the example of the fruit trees when he said, “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they?” Matthew 7:16
What kind of fruit are you bearing? Cherry trees all look similar until the cherries are ripe. Only then can you tell a sweet cherry from a sour cherry. The tree itself doesn’t decide what kind of fruit to bear; the type of species determines what is produced. In the same way, our fruit shows what is inside of us—our inner character, as it were.
Several years ago I accepted the challenge to look for three things each day to be thankful for. Regardless of what the day holds, there are always things that I can thank God for. I make a conscious choice to look to my Heavenly Father, the giver of all good gifts, and trust that He will indeed work it all together for good. In that way, I cultivate the soil of my heart, which in turn produces the fruit that the world sees when they look at my life.
As we go through our daily lives, are we allowing the Holy Spirit to work His fruit in our lives? Are our lives spilling over love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control? Or do we spill out anger, frustration and bitterness when the pressures and stresses of life are applied?
Heavenly Father, thank You that Your Holy Spirit is at work in my life and that He can produce His fruit in me. Help me to daily choose to give thanks, to rejoice always and to cultivate the soil of my heart so that I can spill out the sweet and the beautiful when jostled and stressed. Amen.
Take a few minutes right now to reflect on what spills out of your life when the pressures come. Are you spilling out the fruit of the Holy Spirit? If not, take a moment to confess your sin and once again ask God by His Holy Spirit to fill your life today.