"You will know them by their fruits.
Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?"

"Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit."

"Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs?
Nor can salt water produce fresh."

"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."

Is this possible? Can we have the audacity to look at those around us and watch for what fruit comes from their lives?

We can all instantly think of someone who produces good fruit. They give of themselves, speak kindness, are welcoming and compassionate. But what about those that don't exhibit these qualities?

We are to be aware, to know, them by observing their behavior and what comes from their life. Does strife, conflict and gossip follow them? Are they defensive, even attacking those that question their motives? This is, most obviously, not good fruit. And what are we supposed to do when we see bad fruit in someone? Is it appropriate to warn our families or friends? Or are we all lone rangers, every man for himself? Dare we think that if someone is not exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit, then they do not have the Spirit within them? Perhaps going to the person to talk to them would be in order, but even sometimes this is not possible or welcomed.

We cannot just look at others and point our finger claiming bad fruit, now can we? We must, most certainly, take a hard, long look at what is produced from our own actions. Are we helping, giving, loving in a way that adds depth and value to our relationships? Am I just blindly going along reacting to life instead of taking opportunities to respond in love and kindness, spreading the joy and hope that lives within me?

So many questions with no answers, I'm afraid. Questions worthy of consideration and meditation, to be sure.


Ari C'rona said…
Oh, my, I have quite a jumble of answers rolling through my head to all those questions, my friend, as well as Paul's midrash on love in I Cor. 13... without a humble and contrite heart, all our good deeds are as nothing before HaShem.

Yes, I am taking a long, hard look at the results of my own actions yet again... :o/
Netanya said…
There is a fine line to walk ,that's for sure.The Word says we'll know one another by our fruit. I know I'm choosy of who I call a Believer based on their walk.At the same time,don't want to criticize or juge unjustly. I do try to be cautious who I call friend and hang out with,because,like it or not,we are judged by the company we keep and it says "bad company corrupts good behavior".
Jedi-J said…
Whenever there is bad fruit in the fridge I throw out back in the fields for the pests to eat. Every living thing can still benefit from someone else's produce trash :)
Sue KuKu said…
John 13:34-35 states "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

My pastor once preached on this and said that we're all still working on this one. It's supposed to be kind of the first stone on the foundation of our spiritual lives. He said if we ever really got that one down, we could move on to something else. But somehow, waaaaaay too many of us are still working on it.

However, even when we try and fail, I believe that G-d still works through us. I miss too many opportunities to show and spread love, but some of them come through somehow, in spite of me!

BTW, I direct my 4th-6th grade choir at my church. We end with prayer circle and last night, I told them about Rose and we prayed for her.