The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree… and it also shows what kind of tree it is.
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 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.
The first thing I think of here is the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. It almost sounds like Jesus is saying that we should judge by appearances, and that what we see on the outside always reflects what’s going on in someone’s heart.
I think that this is less about looking at other people and more about looking at ourselves. Does the way we behave line up with what we believe? And if not, where are those contradicting actions coming from? Is there another seed in our hearts, a weed that is competing with the Holy Spirit?
We know that people can be a lot more complicated on the inside than they are on the outside, but bad fruit doesn’t sprout out of nowhere. We can’t speak things that we haven’t already thought first.
And if you’re having trouble figuring out what ‘fruits’ you’re showing in your life, the Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians isn’t a bad place to start.
Head: Do you think that doing good things comes naturally to you? Based on your outward ‘fruit’, what kind of tree do you think you appear as?
Heart: If you recognise any ‘bad fruit’ in your life, is there a seed it could be sprouting from in your heart?
Hands: What can you do to store up good in your heart?
Prayer: Lord, help us to recognise the fruit that we bear in our lives. Show us the actions that come from a poorly spirit, and help us not just to prune the bad behaviours, but also cut off the source of the problem. Fill us with your Holy Spirit, so that we can’t help but do good work. Amen.
A song to listen to: Bring Us Back