A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.
Jesus said if want to know what sort of tree it is you are looking at, examine the fruit. What he was saying was this, if you want to know what sort of person someone is, examine the fruit of their life.
The fruit of both a tree and a person’s life is the telltale sign for what is really going on in their life. It reveals all because a bad tree won’t produce good fruit and a good tree won’t produce bad fruit.
Sometimes we come across people whom we are unsure whether to trust them, spend time with them, build a friendship with them or enter into a business dealing. How do I make an assessment of this person’s life? How do I decide what to do? I examine the fruit.
What sort of fruit should we examine?
- Integrity – are they are person of their word? Will they follow through on what they say?
- Relationships – how do they relate to others? How do they treat their family? Do they have a list of broken relationships behind them?
- Words – do their words reveal something about their heart? Are they bitter? Are they vulgar? Are they rude?
- Trustworthy – are they trustworthy? Do they trust others? Do you witness others show ongoing trust in them?
- Gossip – do they boat mouth others? chances are they will bad mouth you too
And there are plenty more.
If the fruit declares to us what sort of tree we have, how do we go about ensuring the tree is a good one?
Look at Matthew 7:21-23. Verse 23 says
And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
A good tree is one that knows God and is known by God. A good tree is not one who can “do ministry” in Jesus name, but one who is in relationship with Jesus himself. That person will produce good and lasting fruit because the foundation of their life is “the life” Himself, Jesus.
If you want to change the fruit in your life, seek Jesus and walk in relationship with Him.