Sweet strawberries or squashed tomatoes?

I hope you’ve had a fruitful week. Perhaps our response to an enquiry like that is more, ‘Well it’s been nice,’ or, ‘Pretty standard,’ or ‘Challenging!’ But fruitful? That’s not a word we might readily use.

Jesus talks about recognising people ‘by their fruit’ (Matthew 7:16). He goes on to point out that ‘a good tree cannot bear bad fruit’ (Matthew 7:18) and vice versa. Jesus is simply pointing out that the contents of our heart will always surface and be made manifest in our deeds and words. To use the analogy of fruit in another way, do our actions and attitudes deliver sweet strawberries or do we clobber people with squashed tomatoes?

Many years ago I heard a preacher challenge a congregation with the pithy thought: ‘Are we the kind of people who attract the company and counsel of others, or are we the ones that folks avoid in Sainsbury’s?’ If our roots are firmly in Christ, if we love like him and respond like him, then relax, we will be the good trees who produce good fruit. For me, every now and again, I like to do a bit of quality control and check out the kind of fruit I feel I’m producing and, if I’m struggling to get a clear picture, then I know it’s time to seek the Lord on the matter and renew my passion to produce Christ-like fruit!