In Matthew 7:15-20, Jesus spent some time talking about Good Fruit vs. Bad Fruit. Similar to the Fruits of the Spirit we talked about yesterday, Jesus taught that people will know His followers based on the fruit that they produce:
15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Sometimes it can be really difficult to discern a wolf in sheep’s clothing; people can be very good at looking like something they’re not. However, the fruit that they produce will always tell the truth. Are they producing ideas, emotions or actions that build people up and help support their community? Or do they leave a wake of shame, sin and/or anxiety in their path?
As Christians, we want to be the best kind of sheep by following Jesus, and the best kind of shepherds for those who God has put us in a position of authority over. Look at your fruit or humbly ask a trusted friend to tell you about your fruit. Repent if need be and ask the Holy Spirit to help you in any areas where bad fruit needs to be thrown out and good fruit needs to grow.
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