Identifying a Good Tree

Written By: Chris Mace

Identifying a Good Tree
Apple Tree at Point of Maine, Starboard, Maine

Some can tell the nature of this tree by its shape, bark, and leaves. Appearances can be deceptive, but all questions and doubts dissipate when this it produces apples. In Maine that occurs in August and is followed by apple picking and delicious pies in September.

Like a tree, a person’s true nature may be revealed over time. Christ once said “a  tree is known by its fruit; no good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit…” and “what comes out of person is what defiles him.” (Matt 12:33) (Mark 7:20-23)  in other words, human behaviors and attitudes and speech are the means by which character is revealed.

Although the old adage that actions speak louder than words is true, how we use words provides windows into who we really are. Jesus also said, “ I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:35-36) That our words justify or condemn us is startlingly personal and should give us pause to consider how speech reflects inner character. What we believe and how we confess it in action and word is important to God. And to us!

One of the good fruits of faith should be lovely speech which does not intentionally offend, hurt, or diminish another, which offers truth with love, and which proceeds from the good treasure of a repentant, humble heart reflecting the presence of Christ.

“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34)

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