Have you ever wondered how we recognize an apple tree? I know it’s a simple thought, but so valid. Yes, some knowledgeable people would be able to tell them from the leaves or the bark, but most of us will rely on much clearer evidence. If it bears apples, we have our answer. It’s an apple tree.
Peach trees don’t bear apples, and apple trees don’t bear peaches. While these two objects may look obviously similar on the outside, we can only tell the true apple tree by the fruit it bears.
“By their fruit you will recognize them.” – NIV
We can apply Jesus’ principle of fruit to ourselves as well. When we hear a new teaching, or we read some new material, we listen closely to the words to determine if they line up with our understanding of biblical doctrines. This is a good start. But, a better indicator is the behavior that accompanies that teacher. What have they done in life? What do their actions and behaviors say about them?
Words are easy to fake, behavior is not. We won’t find perfection in any human, but when someone comes with gentle words and ferocious actions, the truth is easily seen.
Trust that with bad trees, bad fruit will eventually be evident.