Matthew 7:16-17 (KJV): “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.”
COMMENTARY: For decades, I’ve lived in a suburban farming town near Hartford, Connecticut. Over time, from winter to fall, I’ve watched the bare farmlands sprout up with new life. I’ve watched the crops grow. I’ve watched the eventual harvest, abounding in fruits and vegetables. There are many parallels between agriculture and everyday life.
APPLICATION: Many Christians in the workplace are too naive. The Holy Spirit wants to give us supernatural discernment and wisdom, but we presume too much and get ourselves into messy situations because we don’t take the time to prayerfully and diligently inspect the fruit.
When hiring new employees, ALWAYS check references, even if they’re Christians.
When selecting new suppliers, ALWAYS check references, even if they’re Christians.
When serving new customers, ALWAYS check references and credit records, even if they’re Christians.
When considering purchasing or merging with a business, ALWAYS check references and credit records, even if they’re Christians.
As for the fruit and harvest of your life, make a commitment to the Lord in prayer to be a good tree that bears good fruit; not by “striving” to be a good Christian, but by “abiding” in the Holy Spirit. He is the vine, you are the branch. Without Him, you can do nothing.
As you give the Holy Spirit permission to fill you, His supernatural love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control will spring forth. The spiritual gifts that He has divinely chosen to give you will flow. You’ll be an abundant tree of life to those around you.
For Further Exploration
For further exploration about Matthew 7:16-17 (KJV), read Moral Guidance (Matthew 7) from the Theology of Work Bible Commentary.