Text: Luke 6:43-49 | Listen to Message
The Link Between Fruit And Root
“That’s not what I’m really like, I only said that ‘cause I’m under a lot of stress!”
“It’s her fault; she made me react that way!”
“That was totally out of character for me; I’m not like that!”
Do you ever find yourself justifying sinful words, actions, and attitudes with statements like these? When other people lie, it’s because they’re liars; but our lies are just aberrations of an otherwise good-natured heart. Other people say mean, hateful things because their souls are black; we say mean, hateful things because someone else pushed our buttons … and we didn’t really mean it.
Uh huh, right.
Jesus says what you do and say is always in character – always.
See, your heart is like a tree that bears a certain kind of fruit. And the nature of that fruit is always determined by the nature of your tree. Jesus says it’s this simple: your behaviors are bad because your heart is bad.
Looking at it from another angle, the fruit of your life is always a telltale sign of what’s going on in your heart. For example…
- Angry words are a sign of an angry heart.
- Complaining is a sign of a discontented heart.
- Lying is a sign of a deceitful heart.
- Judgment is a sign of a self-righteous heart.
- Adultery is a sign of a lustful, self-absorbed heart.
So if you look at the tree, which is your life, and you don’t like the fruit that you see and hear, what can you do to change?
The world’s approach (and religion’s approach!) to change is outside-in. If you see rotten, diseased fruit you don’t like, just pluck it off and scotch tape healthy fruit in its place. Complain less and compliment more. See, now your tree looks good – and no one will know the difference! Except they will. Because outside-in, superficial changes never work.
We need the inside-out transformation of the Gospel. Good fruit automatically comes from a good tree, and only God can make the tree good. In fact, that’s why Jesus came: not primarily to give us a moral example to follow but to give us new hearts that are inclined to follow him in the first place! He came to transplant his heart into us, leaving his Spirit to bear HIS fruit in our lives – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
So the next time you say, or think, or do that awful thing, own it. Admit that’s really you. Then go beneath the surface and ask yourself what it is in your heart that’s producing that kind of fruit. Let God show you that heart of pride or selfishness or lust or fear. Let Him expose that idol, that false treasure that over-promises and under-delivers. Ask Him to transform your heart and fill you with Himself. Then watch what happens, automatically, as HIS life and health go coursing through your veins!