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Rotten Fruit

Today's verse of the day in the Bible app is Matthew 7:17-20. It says, "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."

This isn't the only fruit metaphor in the Bible. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness and self-control, then we will exhibit those things in our lives.

When we take these two passages together, we can see that whatever is inside of you will be shown through your actions, words and behavior. So if the Holy Spirit lives inside of you, then you should bear the fruit of the spirit. Conversely, if you are not filled with the Spirit, you will be filled with the opposite. Think about the antonyms of the fruit of the spirit: apathy, despair, impatience, evil, meanness, harshness and being undisciplined.

As Christians who are filled with the Holy Spirit, we should manifest the fruit of the Spirit, right? But we're human, and I honestly don't know anyone who can display love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control all the time. However, when we start to manifest some of the antonyms, it's a signal to examine our hearts. It's time to examine our tree, because bad fruit doesn't grow on good trees. So if we are showing bad fruit, it's a signal something is wrong with our tree.

As I was praying about this verse this morning, God showed me that sometimes, people spend all their time painting their rotten fruit in an attempt to cover their bad fruit. They spend inordinate amounts of time trying to get their rotten fruit to look appealing. It reminded me of videos I've seen of how photographers use fake food in advertisements to make the food look more appealing. They use glue instead of milk, or colored waxes to make sauces look thicker and more shiny. They will spray deodorant on fruit to make it look shiny. It makes the food look great, but no one would be able to eat it.

Fruit-painters will do anything to make their fruit look good except fix the root of the issue--their tree. Many of these people truly want someone to share their tree with--to share their lives, but only if they can keep this illusion of painted fruit. As soon as anyone starts to see that the fruit is painted, then the fruit-painters must get rid of the truth-sayers. Some people would rather keep painting their rotten fruit than grow good fruit.

Fixing our trees requires a lot of work. It requires pain--digging out roots, pruning, replacing soil, feeding, growing, light, water and time. Maybe there was a bacterial, viral or fungal infection that needs to be cut out and treated. Maybe the tree needs to be re-planted somewhere else. All of these things take time and can cause pain. It's much easier to just slap some paint on the fruit. Are you willing to put in the work to fix your tree? Because ultimately, would you want to eat rotten, painted fruit, or would you want to eat delicious, ripe fruit?


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