Don’t Ignore the Fruit Growing On the Branches of the Tree! by Rick Renner
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 7:20
(excerpts from June 12 devo)
Jesus taught very strongly that when considering people for any leading position, it is necessary that we first carefully look at the fruit in that person’s life. Even if the person is willing and eager to serve, the fruit in his personal life and attitude is exactly what you’re going to get when you put him into a position of leadership. So don’t ignore what you see!
Jesus taught that we can ascertain much about a person by looking at the fruit in his life. In fact, Jesus said it is possible to “know” people by their fruit. The word “know” is the Greek word epignosis, a compound of the words epi and gnosis. The word epi means upon; the word gnosis means to know and is the Greek word for knowledge. When you compound these two words together, they form the word that means to come upon or to happen upon some kind of knowledge and carries the idea of making a discovery.
In light of this, we must be very careful to look at the fruit of people’s lives when considering them for key positions in our churches, ministries, businesses, or organizations. You can make quite a discovery about people if you’ll just take the time to carefully observe their lives! If you want to know what is inside a person, just observe his attitudes and how he relates to other people. His fruit will tell you the truth about who he really is. Good fruit belongs to good trees, and bad fruit belongs to bad trees. It’s that simple. The fruit never lies.
Timing is very important when it comes to harvesting good fruit. It’s simply a fact that if you pick fruit before it’s ready, it will produce a bitter taste. For example, if you pick apples too early, their taste is sour, bitter, and sharp. By picking an apple before it’s ripe, you ruin what would have been a perfectly good apple.
It’s the same with people. If you pull someone off the pew and plop him into a leadership position before he’s ripe, it won’t be an enjoyable experience for either you or that person. If he isn’t ripe yet, there’s nothing you can do to make him ripen faster. So be careful not to push this kind of person into a position he isn’t ready to handle; if you do, both of you will end up regretting a sour experience.
So open your eyes, and let the Holy Spirit help you observe the fruit a person produces in his life. If you see a disturbing symptom, don’t overlook the warning signs that are flashing all around you, hoping that these things will somehow mysteriously go away. Pay attention to what you see and hear, because what you see and the attitude that person emits is most likely what he will produce once you take him into your team.
And as you contemplate the fruit produced by others, don’t forget to let the Holy Spirit speak to you about the fruit you are producing in your own life! Would others say the fruit they taste from your life is sweet or bitter? Are you a blessing, or are you a curse? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. So what kind of fruit do you produce? Always remember – the fruit never lies!