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What Fruit Do We Bear?

 
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Prayer-Soldier
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:26 pm    Post subject: What Fruit Do We Bear? Reply with quote

What Fruit Do We Bear?

Scripture:


Unless thou hold yourself diligently in the fear of the Lord, your house shall quickly be overthrown. As when one sifts with a sieve, the dust will remain: so will the perplexity of a man in his thoughts. The furnace tries the potter's vessels, and the trial of affliction just men. As the dressing of a tree shows the fruit thereof, so a word out of the thought of the heart of man.
(Sirach 27:4-7 [Ecclesiasticus 27:4-7, DRA])

And when this mortal has put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? Now the sting of death is sin: and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be you steadfast and unmovable; always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
( 1 Corinthians 15:54-58 )

And he spoke also to them a similitude: Can the blind lead the blind? Do they not both fall into the ditch? The disciple is not above his master: but every one shall be perfect, if he be as his master.

And why see you the mote [speck] in the eye of your brother: but the beam that is in your own eye you consider not? Or how can you say to your brother: Brother, let me pull the mote out of your eye, when you yourself see not the beam in your own eye? Hypocrite, cast first the beam out of your own eye; and then shall you see clearly to take out the mote from the eye of your brother. For there is no good tree that brings forth evil fruit; nor an evil tree that brings forth good fruit. For every tree is known by its fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns; nor from a bramble bush do they gather the grape. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good: and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth that which is evil. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

(Luke 6:39-45)

Reflection:

Our words convey wants, needs, desires, thoughts, and ideas. Through them, we tell stories of truth and fiction. We spin yarns and speak fantasies, but through words, we also convey that which is true. We use a variety of literary forms to capture the attention of the mind. Words reveal and conceal. Words convey truth as well as lies. Words are a tool, and like any tool, they may help accomplish or they may be used to destroy. It is not the tool which contains evil, it is the mind behind the tool which is the matter of concern.

Through words, we may cover our feelings. Some may offer a smile as they plot and scheme. Evil hides in niceties as a means to gain a closeness or an advantage. Like the predator which lies in wait for its prey, the heart of evil waits with patience until it is in position to kill and consume. For evil to do its damage, it must reveal itself. The question is, will we recognize it in time to defend against its designs? Will we stop it before the harm can no longer be reversed? How many shall be lost to its pounce?

If we are to have hope in the face of the hidden darkness, the faithful must remain vigilante. They must test what is in the heart of those who seek to influence, not simply by listening to words, but by observing actions as well. Words convey, but actions deliver. To discern what good or evil may come from words, we must consider the fruit of what they encourage; the consequences of words put into action or which compel inaction.

Still, the faithful cannot assume always what may come from words, for their meaning is not always as we are seduced to believe. At times they reveal clearly, but at others, they hide that of which we must be wary. The evil one dresses up his objectives with lovable words as a means to seduce the people away from that which is right and just. An observation of the hand as the mouth speaks will provide insight to the heart. The moment to act against evil may be slim. We must wear the armor of God if we are to survive the unexpected blow. (cf. Ephesians 6:13) The one who does not prepare makes of themselves easy prey to the prince of deception.

How are we to know, the faithful may cry, for evil deceptions are so often hidden in plain sight? They are hidden behind smiles, offers of help, perhaps even charity. Evil is able to sabotage in a variety of ways; words which encourage complacency, indifference, or confusion can be as damaging as those which inspire deliberate harm. To what, then, are we able to look to enable us to discern the evil path before we are caught in its tar?

The test which God has given is for us to consider the fruit which words may spawn. If the consequence yields the fruits of civility, compassion, charity, and love without corruption, we are on the path which God intends; but if the consequence, no matter what is promised, does not deliver these fruits, then, we must question further as to what may come.

In our wariness, we are not called to judge the weakness of others, for we abound in our own weaknesses and failings. Instead, our discourse must be one of encouragement so we may all invite the Words of the holy truth of God into our hearts and allow it to refine us to become the good which God has always desired of the children of His creation.

If we are in doubt and unsure of our examination, then, we must ask the Holy Spirit to guide us. (cf. John 14:26) With the Holy Spirit in our heart, we enable our ability to discern, taste, and share the good fruits. Let us listen closely for His voice; the voice of love.

Questions for further reflection:

In what ways may we discern the true intent of thought and deed?

In what ways may we deny victory to death?

In what ways might we encourage one another away from the seductions of sin?

May the peace and blessings of the Lord be with you always,
Prayer Soldier

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