Have you ever noticed how nice guys look in church?
Sure, some ‘brodas’ could use a fashion lesson or two, but for the most part on Sundays, guys around me completely kill it fashion-wise. Wickedly fitting shirts and blazers, pants hanging right in all the right places (who said only ladies can accentuate physical features with clothes?), trendy kicks and a clean, crisp look. The Sunday look is spotless.
But you know what? Donning that blazer could be a serial womanizer with a retinue of flings (and broken hearts to match) all around town. That cute brother lifting holy hands in worship could be a ferocious boxer whose only ever opponent
is was his girlfriend. His record is stellar though – 13-0, 3 of those by K.O. She had to flee for her life.
Lurking beneath that clean-shaven, demure exterior could be a fraudster who lives by swindling. The mister speaking those ‘heavy tongues’ may well just be a pathological liar, you know the kind that could string a dozen lies together on the fly – coherently. That guy who barely speaks could be housing a razor-sharp tongue that would grate away your entire self-esteem with just a few, carefully chosen insults.
Baby girl, you know that dude who seems shy to come any more than four feet from you? He might just be wallowing in lust issues; yet to gain control over his devouring appetite for sex. His seeming innocence subconsciously breaking down your defenses (what could he do? He still can’t look at me straight in the eye).
I guess you get the point. I’m all for looking dapper, but dear reader, be careful how you assess people based on appearance. Today’s world runs heavily on ‘branding’ and presentation; which aren’t bad in themselves but could throw us into serious errors in judgement of character.
Either make the tree good, and HIS fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and HIS fruit corrupt; FOR THE TREE IS KNOWN BY HIS FRUIT
Matthew 12:33 (KJV)
Two facts caught my attention. The unusual use of the pronoun ‘his’ for a tree (you’d have expected it to read ‘its’). That means Jesus wasn’t giving a lecture on agriculture. He was talking about people.
A second fact jumped out as well. The tree is known, not by its look, but by its fruit. The look can be analysed by just a glance but seeing the fruits requires patience, especially when the fruiting season (is ‘fruiting’ a real word? Oh never mind) is yet to come. You may need to revisit the ‘tree’ severally before the ‘fruit’ become apparent. Therein lies the need for patience and discernment. Anyone can say anything, anyone can cook up a look. But the fruits don’t lie. Look long and well enough, by their fruit (not the suit!), you will know them.
Live by Design.
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