Matthew 12:33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” (NIV)*
If a fruit tree is good, it bears good fruit. If a fruit tree is bad, it bears bad fruit.
And aren’t we like fruit trees, carrying around potential for good, or bad? If good is stored up in our hearts, good will be produced. If bad is stored up in our hearts…guess what. It seems too simple.
Contents of my heart will spill. Thoughts and emotions stuffed, eventually rise to flood level and overflow.
If I’ve harbored anger, bitterness seeps. Thoughts unseen, yet harbored, eventually pour uncontrolled. And I wonder, where did that come from?
The heart fills, then emotions or events trigger an overflow. Out comes spillage…sewage…rotten fruit.
What if the overflow brings life-giving fruit? Fruit that nourishes the soul, making others come back for more? What if a wrong prompts me to pray, or a critique leaves me thankful? Now there’s some good fruit!
So the trick, then, is to store up as much good as possible. Make a good tree that produces good fruit by controlling the contents of the heart. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but be encouraged. Growth is not a once-and-done project. It’s a lifetime of inventory control.
Throw away boxes of rotting fruit by confessing, forgiving, then giving thanks. Fill up heart shelves with God’s Word. Replace old containers with new, life-giving truths. Secure the door, only letting in what’s good.
And next time there’s an overflow, look for some good fruit.
Matthew 12:34-35 “…For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him…” (NIV)*
*The One Year Bible, New International Version, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.