Encouragement for your daily walk with God
Jesus told His disciples that they would be able to discern true prophets and false prophets by their fruit. Today, Christ followers use the same principle in discerning a person’s self-proclamation of a relationship with God. It NEVER gives a Christ follower a license to judge the eternal destiny of an individual, that is between them and God, but it can help to determine the truthfulness of their claims.
Christ simply told His disciples to test the prophets, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” That’s pretty clear, isn’t it? Over the years, it has come to be known as the “fruit test.”
I apply this principle when dealing with some so-called Christ followers. It is especially helpful with the people who make a room brighter just by leaving it! You’ve probably met them — tension rises whenever they are around; they are miserable people and want to drag as many people into their misery as possible; everything is smothered by their complaints; they are discontented and try their best to manipulate people to their cause, whatever it might be.
When people are filled with gossip and strife, when there is no end to their discontent, it’s actually a good thing to recognize they are bearing bad fruit. That’s biblical discernment and we need to practice it.
I also find this principle effective in relationships. When your friend[s] engage in putting others down, talking behind others’ back, impugning others’ character, or trashing others’ integrity, it’s time to recognize the fruit and move on.
You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Matthew 7.16-20