By Joan Walker Hahn
Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:44-45
We have several flower beds around our house and out in our yard. Life has been so busy that I haven’t had time to get out and work in the yard like I would have liked. Or needed. Weeds and flowers seemed to have grown a foot overnight.
One day when I finally had a little bit of time to try to pull some weeds, I noticed how much some of the weeds resembled flowers. Especially before flowers actually bloom, some of the green leaves of the flowers are hard to tell apart from the weeds growing alongside of them. I took my time to determine which green shoots to pull up and which ones to leave alone and let grow.
I started thinking about those weeds as fake flowers. They were growing just as fast and looking very close to the real thing, but they were still just weeds. Some of the weeds actually do have pretty flowers once they bloom.
And when one of my grandchildren comes running to me with a dandelion in their hand and a big smile on their face, saying they picked the pretty flower just for me, well, then it’s more special than the most beautiful rose in the world!
But as I pondered over the fake flowers, I thought of how often people are fake. We all, at some point or in some ways, are not always genuine. We may put a smile on our face when greeting others when all we really want to do is have a good cry.
Sometimes being fake is living out the phrase that we need to, “fake it ‘til you make it.” To persevere under stressful situations until we get through those situations.
However, there are also people who are fake, pretending to be someone they truly are not. They are intentionally trying to deceive others for their own personal gain or other ungodly reasons. So how do we tell the difference?
Examination. Just as I looked closely at the real flowers to compare with the fake ones, we can examine the fruit that is produced. Like I have heard someone say before, “We shouldn’t judge others, but we can be fruit inspectors!”
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Matthew 7:15-20 NIV
As we see all of the flowers and trees during this time of year, may we all do a little self-examination. If we have received Christ and He lives within our heart, then the fruit we produce will give evidence to that fact. May we bloom and produce a beautiful fragrance that draws other to Him!
Heavenly Father, Thank You for providing reminders of how we are to live in everything we see. Even pulling weeds can teach me so much. I want to look like You, Lord! Help me to bear fruit so that others know I belong to You. May I live in a way so that others never question if I am real or fake! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
© 2019 by Joan Walker Hahn. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Monday, 29 August 2022.