For each tree is known by its own fruit ... the good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. - Luke 6:44-45 NASB
No good tree produced bad fruit. You don't get figs from thorn bushes or grapes from a briar bush. And you would be an idiot if you went there expecting either to deliver anything fruitful. The truth is, each tree is known for its fruit and by its fruit. It delivers what is expected based on the kind of fruit tree it is.
And the same can be said for us. What comes out of our mouths is just the fruit of what is in our hearts. We can't help but produce what is inside us. No more so that an apple tree can help but produce apples. It is a natural outgrowth of its true identity. So what kind of fruit does your life produce? Love, joy, patience, peace, kindness, self-control.? Or does the fruit of your life have a distinctively different look to it? Anger, resentment, doubt, impatience, impurity, jealousy?
This passage makes me think of John 15 where Jesus talks about fruitfulness. In the parable Jesus share there, He talks about God being the owner of a vineyard. As the owner, he expects fruit. He is interested in fruitfulness. The vine, which represents Jesus, wants the same thing: fruitfulness. The branches (you and I) should desire the same thing. In fact, the branches greatest desire should be for fruitfulness and nothing else. When we bear fruit, we give evidence of who we belong to.
So are you bearing fruit? What kind? Why not ask the Father to prune you so that you can bear more fruit? Scary isn't it? But pruning is a requirement to fruitfulness. Ask God to cut away those things in your life that are interfering with your fruit-bearing capabilities. They are robbing you of life and limiting your fruitfulness. Don't worry, he's the gardener and he knows what's best. You can trust him!
Father, I want to live as one of your disciples, giving, joyful, fruitful, merciful, loving -- not judging, condemning, fault-finding. I want the treasure of my heart to be life-giving. I want to produce fruit that nourishes and refreshes others, not robs them of life. Help me to hear your words and act on them that I might stand firm in the storms of life. Amen.