“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.” Maya Angelou
Everyone has a bad day from time to time. Our temper flares, we can’t resist gossip’s temptation, jealousy rears its head, or we tell a lie. But behavior patterns are a different matter be they positive or negative–a show of someone’s true colors. Most of us experience their effects in one relationship or another. Sometimes, it happens with someone we are close to and think we know well. At other times, it may be an acquaintance or co-worker with whom we have a more casual connection. We may be surprised by someone’s kindness and loyalty, or shocked by their betrayal.
True colors–everyone has them. Oftentimes, they don’t show through immediately, but over time. The Bible compares them to fruit on a tree of its kind:
“Beware of false teachers who come disguised as harmless sheep, but are wolves and will tear you apart. You can detect them by the way they act, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit. You need never confuse grapevines with thorn bushes or figs with thistles. Different kinds of fruit trees can quickly be identified by examining their fruit. A variety that produces delicious fruit never produces an inedible kind. And a tree producing an inedible kind can’t produce what is good. So the trees having the inedible fruit are chopped down and thrown on the fire. Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit produced.” (Matthew 7: 15-20)
False teachers are in the spotlight in Matthew 7, but it goes on to tell us that all people, just like a tree, are identified by their “fruit.” When we see a tree with shiny red apples dangling from its branches, we can believe that it is an apple tree! In the same way, we can believe people when they show us who they really are. The choice is ours–will we believe what people show us about themselves?
Think of the last time someone showed you their true colors. What did you do with the information?
**The Living Bible (www.biblegateway.com)