THIS WEEK’S FOCUSED SCRIPTURE
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:43-45 (NIV)
THOUGHTS FROM HILLARY
You wake up in the morning, brush your teeth, maybe grab a cup of coffee, and find yourself getting ready for your day. As time goes by, you begin to mark off your to-do list focusing on what needs to be done next. You have conversations, send emails, take care of your kids, eat food, but all without realizing the activities of the day have influenced your heart and mind. Your desire has been to remain rooted and grounded in the Word of God, to look more like Christ, but the day has left you frustrated. Now you find yourself reacting out of irritation, aggravation, and annoyance.
We often go through our day without taking the time to evaluate the very condition of our fruit. Although our intentions are usually good, if we do not take the time to pause, breathe, and examine our fruit, we can find that we have been holding onto bitterness, resentment, anger, pain, etc., for many years. It would be naive to assume that these emotions would not cause damage. “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” What is buried deep within us will come out in our actions, in our conversations, in how we parent, in how we love one another, and in how we love ourselves.
To see if a tree is healthy one must examine the branches. Areas that are wilting or infected must be removed so the tree can thrive. The same is true with our hearts. Our actions, attitudes, vocal tones, and emotions are the fruit, which are important indicators to the condition of our hearts. We must grow in our emotional intelligence and become aware of how we are acting. Are we producing good fruit? The Greek word for good in verse 45 is Agathos which means useful, pleasant, agreeable, honorable, and upright.
This week take time to breathe and reflect on the condition of your fruit. Are your actions honorable? Are your responses to situations agreeable and upright? This week, may we examine our fruit and allow the Holy Spirit to prune the areas that are infecting our hearts.
Assistant Director of Victory School of Leadership
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