When I went on a tour for young people I had to prepare myself for the group I was going to meet, all coming from different parts of the world. My preparation was both physical and emotional. I had to think of what to wear, how to behave and what to expect.
And it's natural for us to want to look acceptable and at our best when we meet new people. We sometimes wonder what people will think of us if we speak, dress or act in a certain way, especially if they are new to us. Sometimes we change our clothes and behaviour so the opinion of other people will be positive towards us.
Jesus, when He had a time with His disciples, spoke of the Pharisee and said "Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honour at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the market-places and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others." (Matthew 23:5-7) They changed their lives and behaviour to suit their audience. In other words they weren’t honest in their attitude.
I believe we're sometimes like that, so eager to please people and be accepted by them that we tend to change the way we act. We do things to impress others. Jesus wants us to have good fruit on the inside and not just put on an outward show.
Our lives should bear fruit as a result of a relationship with God that's deep and rich. The more honest we are with ourselves the more we can be honest before God. When we're honest with God we can let Him heal and cleanse us from the things that aren't pleasing to Him. Our life will then bear fruit which can be seen on the outside.
Fruit comes from a tree or plant which has roots, stems, and branches receiving all the proper nutrition from the soil. Good fruit comes when there's a proper balance of nutrients, light, warmth and water. 'A good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.' (Matthew 7:18-19) God wants us to live balanced lives, honest and true. We should be the same on the outside as we are inside.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I come to You, just as I am, please help me today to be honest with myself and to bring all my life to you so that you can heal and deal with me. I want to bear fruit for You and to walk in honesty before You. Thank You, Lord, Amen.
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