Check the Fruit
Every couple of weeks, if not every week, I will go to the grocery to get the items I need for the meals I plan to prepare. In an effort to balance my food intake, I will buy fruits and vegetables to incorporate into my nutrition. When I buy from the produce section I tend to check the fruit carefully to see if it is good. Stores have a good way of presenting the fruit on display. However, if you don’t pick it up and check it out before you purchase it, that same fruit that looks good at first glance may be rotten at the bottom.
You wouldn’t know it unless you checked it out.
For example, for most people who have a job, there was a process you had to go through prior to getting hired. Your employer most likely was interested in seeing what you have done previously, that falls in line with the position that they are seeking to fill. A resume was submitted giving all previous employment with a brief description of your past experience. In order to corroborate the information provided, references were probably checked to confirm that the experience you listed was accurate. If your references checked out, you likely ended up with a job offer. The purpose of following up on these references is the check the fruit of the applicant.
Is their fruit good or bad?
Likewise in relationships, it is sensible to collect data on the person you are dating, prior to things getting serious. All too often we will overlook or make excuses for a person’s actions because we want the relationship to work. There is a great quote by the wise Dr. Maya Angelo that states, “when people show you who they are, believe them.” This statement holds so true because we can be guilty of looking at what we hope people would become, rather than see them for who they are. In other words, if you see that their fruit is rotten, don’t buy it. Trying to talk yourself into thinking something or someone is more than what they show you, will only waste your time or hurt you greatly in the end.
This also holds true to the kingdom of God.
Beware of pastors, ministers and leaders within the church who are dressed in sheep clothing. They secretly plot to gain your trust by telling you what you want to hear or condemn you for your sins, as to distract you from the destruction going on within their life. The Bible warns us of these false prophets and encourages us to test the spirit to see if they are from God. If they speak from the world’s viewpoint and not from the indisputable word of God, their fruit is bad. On the other hand, if they are solid in their doctrine of the Gospel and live their lives, not perfectly, but accordingly to the Word of God, you can trust that they produce good fruit.
If it doesn’t bear fruit, it is useless.
During one of His travels, Jesus was looking to eat a fig from a fig tree He saw in the distance. As would anyone expect of a fruit tree, Jesus was looking pick from it a fig to eat. After checking it and found no fruit growing on it, He found it useless and declared it to wither up and die. The fact is unless good seeds have been planted in good ground, we can’t expect to see a good harvest. That reigns true whether it’s a relationship, job, a purchase or your spiritual walk.
If the tree is good, you will see that the fruit it bears is good as well. However, if the tree is bad, the fruit you see will be a representation of the tree. You can’t pick from the tree that’s bad and expect the fruit to be juicy and sweet. So regardless of the poor decisions you may have made in your past, going forward, save yourself time and check the fruit.
In Relentless Pursuit,
“You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” Matthew 7:16-20 NLT