For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
It is impossible for an apple tree to bear bananas. An orange tree won’t grow cherries. Obviously a fruit tree bears fruit after its own kind. Some trees are distinct and recognizable. With others, it is difficult to tell what kind of tree it is until it starts growing fruit. But once the fruit starts growing, there is no mistaking what kind of tree it is. As Christians, we should bear “Christian fruit.” We should be “Christian trees” from the root up. Our roots should dig deep into the nutrient-rich ground of God’s Word. Our trunk should be sturdy and able to hold our weight. Our branches should spread out wide and always be reaching. Our fruit should be plenteous.
Trees grow and bear fruit at different rates. A newly planted tree will take a while to get to the fruit-bearing stage. Often trees need to mature for many years before yielding the most and best fruit they can offer. Similarly, our spiritual growth is a lifetime process. As we learn and grow in the things of God, we start bearing more and more fruit for the Lord. But we must not be impatient with the process, and we shouldn’t get discouraged if other trees around seem to be growing faster. Growing fruit takes time.
Trees will bear fruit whether anyone else sees it or not. An audience is not a requirement for producing fruit. Sometimes God is our only witness. Whatever our place of serving and bearing fruit, let’s be most concerned with pleasing God in all we say and do. But we should also be mindful that our fruit may be visible to those around us, so we should be careful to have a good testimony for the Lord before a watching world.
Just as trees produce fruit for food, our fruit can be gathered and put to good use. What we do should matter to God and benefit other people. We should bear the fruit of the Spirit in our lives and be fruitful Christians in service to God and those around us. And our fruit should multiply as we share Christ and help others come to salvation and grow in their relationship with Him.
Unlike trees, though, we have our own will. A well-cared-for tree has no say in the matter of bearing its fruit. But we can sometimes be corrupted and make poor decisions. We can step outside of God’s will or fall into sin. We can replace our pleasant fruit and start bearing thorns and brambles. We can be hurtful instead of helpful and start bearing rotten fruit. God expects good fruit from His trees. He grooms us in such a way that we can bear good fruit. Let’s be mindful of the choices we make and the way we behave so others will know us by our fruit to be God’s children.