Are You Hard to Recognize?
Tidbit Text: Matthew 7:20 – "Thus, by their fruit you will recognize
Answer this quickly—–Name a piece of fruit…. Now, what type of fruit
did you name? More than likely, the most popular answer was "apple."
Other answers would probably include orange, banana, grape, peach and plum. However,
I know one answer that probably did not come to mind immediately—-lemon. Why
not? It’s just as much a fruit as the others we mentioned. So why? Well,
Webster’s dictionary defines fruit as "usually sweet;" therefore,
because lemons are bitter, we generally don’t associate lemons with fruit.
This same principle applies to Christianity. Some of us can be so bitter and
hateful at times, we become hard to recognize as Christians. When you’re in the
middle of a "speaking your mind" or "just being honest,"
ask yourself, "What type of fruit am I producing in this moment?"
Yes, we know that you are human and as humans we get angry and upset, but
Ephesians 4:26 says, "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down
upon your wrath." God knows that anger is an emotion that we will
experience from time to time; still, it’s not a license to sin. We can’t use
"he pushed the wrong button" or "she shouldn’t have gone there
with me" as an excuse. When ungodly words fly from your mouth (and this
does not necessarily mean curse words), it’s hard to recognize you as an apple.
Of course we aren’t saying be a spiritual door mat. You don’t have to get
walked all over just to be deemed a child of God. Christians can stand their
ground and still come out smelling like roses (another thing that is associated
with "sweetness" — smell). And one more thing. Going back to
Ephesians 4:26—it tells us, "don’t let the sun go down on your
wrath/anger." If you’re that sweet fruit that God so desires, by the end
of the day you will have made your peace with that person or at least placed it
at the feet of Jesus. The children of God carry many things, but one thing they
should not carry is grudges.
So this day, choose what type of fruit you want to be — easy to recognize
or hard to recognize. Choose whether or not you want to be an apple or a lemon.
Everyone on the planet knows that an apple is a fruit, but not everyone knows a
lemon is a fruit. If you carry yourself as a child of Christ, then everyone
will know you are a child of Christ. If you choose to do "your own
thang" and be bitter towards others, holding grudges, then you will
produce bitter fruit. You’d still be a child of God because of the covenant of
salvation, but your fruit wouldn’t be sweet. Also here’s a divine revelation.
As I am typing this, I’m listening to Benny Hinn; he and his guest are singing,
"Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…. the SWEETEST name I know." There is nothing
bitter that we associate with Jesus, so the same should apply to us. Therefore,
choose this day to be only the sweetest fruit, not the bitter.