S. O. A. P.
Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional!
Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
This short verse sums up Jesus’ directive to His “Followers” on how to tell the Real from the Phony. He said, “What is in people, good or bad, will come out of them.” He labeled the product of each as … “Fruit.” So the way to discern the Real from the Phony is by looking at their “Fruit.”
This is a difficult passage to fathom or justify because Jesus begins the chapter by saying, “Do not judge or you too will be judged” (Mt. 7:1). But now He says the way to tell the Real from the Phony is by their FRUIT! But isn’t that Judgment? Let’s look at it. In verse one Jesus condemns the condemnation of others. But in verse 20, He promotes the idea of Discernment. Real discernment doesn’t condemn anyone, but it does give the discerner a leg up on the person who may be trying to swindle them because of their natural inclination to love and serve those they come in contact with. What was Jesus’ way of Discernment? Well that’s the rub. It’s called … “The Challenge of Fruit Inspection.” Because, by their fruit you will know them.
It is never my intention to condemn any of my fellow human beings. But I do ask You today, for my own sake, to give me the ability to lovingly and privately inspect others’ fruit. Not in order to judge, but to discern. Amen