Fruit Inspector

August 17, 2016
by Martin Wiles

Matthew 7:16a – You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. (NLT)

What looks good outwardly can occasionally be disappointing.

I'm not a fruit inspector — at least not by profession — but I do inspect fruit before I purchase it. When selecting apples and oranges, I look for bruises or soft spots. If I'm buying a bag of Irish potatoes, I make sure that there are no rotten spots. Bananas can't be bruised or overripe. Some fruit, however, has the ability to trick me. I recall one bag of black grapes that I bought. They had all the appearances of being ripe and sweet, but when I plopped the first one in my mouth, it was sour. So was the entire bunch. Since grapes don't ripen once removed from the vine, I had to throw them all away. I've purchased a few watermelons and cantaloupes that fooled me also. Unlike grapes, however, they will continue to ripen, so if I'm patient, I'll eventually experience a good taste.

Jesus instructed me to be a fruit inspector, whether I get paid for it or not. Just as some fruits appear to be ripe but aren't, some people will appear to be Jesus' disciples, but will actually be false teachers — wolves in sheep's clothing.

Jesus' admonition reminds me that I also have the capability to deceive others. Through my actions, emotions, words, and attitudes, I have the power to portray my identity, but I can also disguise my identity by those same means. When I curtail them to fit a certain situation or display certain ones when around specific people, I define myself as someone particular — genuine or hypocritical.

God has the ability to know my heart. I do, too. I may succeed in fooling others about my true identity, but in my heart, I know whether I'm being true to my inner self. So does God. That's why He pricks my conscience when the two don't match up. He doesn't want me leading others astray, nor does He want me fooling myself. Not only must I inspect others' fruit, but I must also inspect my own.

Cultivating my vine through spiritual disciplines is vital, so that I'll bear more fruit that's ripe, sweet, and delicious. When others inspect me, I want them to find abundant good fruit, and I don't want them to discover hypocrisy.

Let us make sure that the spiritual fruit that we are producing is sweet to others' taste.

Prayer: Father, may the fruit that we produce show others that we are Your children. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks. What an interesting analogy.
    Blessings.


    Yes, may we never have a hypothetical moment. Thanks for writing this devotional. Blessings.


    “But in my heart, I know whether I’m being true to my inner self”
    Hi Martin: Thank you for a timely and well-written reminder!


    Martin Wiles!
    The truth is out by you.
    Keep extending the grace of God to us all!


    Hi Martin,
    Thanks for your descriptive message to some of us who have a lot of ripening to do.
    Just a suggestion for next time you pick a batch of grapes that are unripe… toss in a couple of spoons of honey into the batch, add a little water, cover and simmer for awhile, serve over ice cream or whatever. Kinda like us, a little sweetening will help us change and avoid getting dumped in the trash!


    Bear good fruits!


    Martin, examining fruit seems to be a good exercise not only physically but spiritually as well.
    Great lesson!
    Blessings.


    Thank you Martin for this message. I have found myself becoming judgemental lately – a trait I do not like in myself. This message is a great reminder about being true – not to our emotions but to our faith. God Bless you for bringing this message to us.


    Dear Martin,
    I will try to remember the catchy title of this devotion to remind myself that we must live close to God in order to bear attractive fruit. We need God’s help to attract people to God’s love when they see our fruit.


    Thank you, Martin Wiles, for a devotional that should produce a lot of fruit.
    I love fruits, and I have muskmelons and watermelons and grapes growing in my garden, and I pray that we won’t get early frosts here.
    Jesus says, I am the vine, you are the branches. I pray he will continue to keep us tasty to those who hunger for truth.


    Thank you Martin. I needed to read this. God be with you.


    Thank you Martin for this tasty food for thought.

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