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Good Fruit or Bad?

Recently someone made the comment that we were terrible parents for taking our kids, 9 and 6 years-old, to church with us. It was horrible of us to not give our kids the choice for whether or not they should go and learn about Jesus Christ. Then they wrapped it all up by implying we were no different than terrorists and the kids they raise to follow Islam and the Jihad. They were cursing and yelling at that time, and then later of course said they didn’t really mean anything by it. Now, I don’t have any grudge or ill-will for this person, but it does serve a good purpose to reflect…

I read a passage once I’d like to share, out of this terrible, horrible book that I happen to respect. It goes like this:

“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. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? 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, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

I’ll have some words I’ll have to pay for too, you can be sure. But I guess that somehow the words in that book make me sit up and pay a little more attention to what I say and what I do, terrible book that it is.

My boy just learned a verse a couple of weeks ago…

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Now, I could choose not to care, I could yell and scream and curse and tear my boy down, or I could choose another kind of fruit. The fruit this book speaks of. I see it this way – I could raise a boy who has the fruit of another spirit, opposite of love, joy and peace, hateful and depressed and always high-strung, not kind, not good, not faithful, not gentle, and totally out of control, but why on earth would I wish that for my son?

Which would you choose for your child?

Follow me for just a moment, please? My little boy and girl helped me plant our garden, exerting the greatest of care to plant every seed to just the right depth on their little fingers. They were very careful to follow my instruction. They watched every move I made. They didn’t learn it from a text book. They watched their daddy, and they imitated my actions.

That’s a blog too if you ever care to read, but here’s my point, the first image posted here was harvested from that very garden just a few short minutes ago.

We were on vacation for a week, and so the second image is the harvest that spoiled and withered on the vines, falling down to the ground to become pulp for the bugs and worms. There was no one to care and tend for every plant. No one stopped by or checked in, there were no careful hands to water or strip away the weeds or brush off the bugs, and so the plants made their own choices and did what that they must to survive on their own without any guidance or assistance. They cut off the water supply only to the roots. They quit growing, they quit reaching out, and they quit producing good fruits to make the world a better place. They were merely withering into survival mode. Anything just to stay alive.

Now, friend, we’re going to have fresh, home grown BLT’s with a nice tossed salad tonight from our garden. And hey, if you’d like you can come over… But first, you tell me, which harvest would you prefer that I prepare your meal from?

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