Jesus made it very clear that a tree is known by its fruit. He says in Matthew chapter 7:
“A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.”
Now He was specifically speaking of false prophets in this passage. However, it is also true and relevant for all believers. We bear fruit in the actions we take and the things we do habitually, especially behind closed doors.
We are to show love and be kind. The Bible doesn’t say we are to show “acts” of kindness. I have a problem with acts of kindness because anyone can put on an act. We are to be kind in our words and actions, not just act it.
Our fruit consists of what we do repeatedly, the actions we take, the decisions we make on a regular basis that impact others. I don’t believe God is calling for perfection. However, He is calling for excellence. I read something recently that really spoke to me. It said, “Excellence is not a skill, but an attitude.” That means there is no excuse.
All of us can have this attitude in the way we choose to do things. Not only that, but we can and should ensure that everything we do, we do to the best of our ability bearing in mind that someone is taking notice.
We don’t do things to be seen by men, or for the glory of men. Jesus warned against that as well. However, it is important that what we are seen doing, is for good and not evil. Evil is anything that is not good. When it comes to good or evil, there are no shades of gray in God’s eyes.
If in taking proper inventory of our actions, we discover they are not pleasing to God, we can change them. That’s the good news. We are not robots stuck in a rut when it comes to wrongdoing. No, we can choose to take a different action. What’s more, we can choose to practice better habits so they become part of us. That’s great news for all of us!
Further, God is not counting the wrong we do, only waiting to count us blameless before Him in love and righteousness. So when it comes to our mistakes, He’s not counting them. But when it comes to the good deeds we do, we shouldn’t be counting them either.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:1,
“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose your reward from your Father in heaven.”
When we so want others to know about the good deeds we do, it’s evident that’s not who we really are.
The kind of tree I want to be is the fruit tree that bears good fruit continually. It’s possible that no one will even notice, except for maybe those who are directly impacted by the good deed. I realize I have to be okay with this and even desire this kind of secret path of not letting my left hand know what my right hand is doing.
This is the only way in God’s sight to bear good fruit, and be greatly rewarded (in His timing, not ours) for it.
What kind of fruit do you produce daily–especially in your home and work?