The blessed life – being influenced by the good
Luke 6: 43-45
“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 thornbushes, 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.”
Jesus uses simple images to reveal the hypocrisy of some of the Pharisees and religious leaders that were not only following him around trying to trip him up but also were leading people away from God through unnecessary burdens. The blessed life is to be the good tree, the good man and the good heart. That is of course what we draw from this parable but it is more than this.
He answers the question which is still as current today as it was when he first spoke it. “Can this person be trusted? Is this person good?” The blessed life is to be influenced by the good. It is to have people around you whether they are your leaders or your disciples who at the core are not rotting away through complaint, jealousy, regrets eating away at them and bitterness or superiority, pride and self-satisfaction. Why these particular traits? Well, of course, you may have a different or similar list. But you know that though we are rubbing shoulders with these people every day of our lives and we try to influence them for a heart transplant what we make sure of is that they do not influence our hearts. We do not eat their fruit, we do not digest into our systems of life their attitudes and values.
So how do we live a blessed life in our world today?
- We listen, not to the first thing that comes out of the mouth but perhaps the last sentence. The reasoning behind the words. The attitude. The story of the person’s life. The tone of their voice.
- We slow down and we look for the good to impact our lives. That might mean we spew out of our mouths what is not so good about the person but digest the good. Ever wondered what to do with a series of books from an author that you thought were a super saint only to discover that they were not a very nice person? Do you hold a burn the books ceremony? If so, I think you may have a small library by the end of your life! No, we look for the good that we want to come into our life, we take the good and we make less heroes in our life.
- Give it time. Let time reveal the truth. Good fruit will come, good things will emerge and good words will be spoken and the reverse also. Just because it is a tree it doesn’t mean a thing, wait for the season of fruit, wait for time to pass, all will be revealed.