Recently I read Proverbs 4, in which Solomon encourages us to guard our hearts as the source of our lives. Jesus teaches us today that what we say comes from what is in and on our hearts. So how’s your heart? Is it producing good fruit in your words and actions?
43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
We typically say, when someone makes a bone-head move that we think should be forgiven, “Well, he has a good heart…” or “Her heart was in the right place.” We leave room for a mistake to be on the surface while the purity and goodness are underneath.
Jesus might disagree with us. He says that a good fruit doesn’t come from a bad tree and a bad fruit doesn’t come from a good tree. Let’s be careful here to not say that the person who sins cannot be good and that the bad person never does good. Our yesterdays, if we recall each interaction with other people, proves that life isn’t that simple.
At the heart of it, however, Jesus is saying very clearly that our speech is a reflection of our hearts. Our fruit is a reflection of the quality of our tree. And this should leave us questioning ourselves in the most healthy way possible.
Sometimes we bear the fruit of angry hearts, or selfish hearts, or even lustful hearts. Others bear the fruit of jealous hearts, depressed hearts, or bitter hearts. We desire hearts which are set upon Jesus. That’s the course of life in which good fruit can be our legacy.
When we set our hearts upon the Lord Jesus and his love and teachings, we see ourselves and our lives in a different way. Our hearts go from being focused on the things of this world and ourselves to become hearts of heaven, focused on the things of God and the perspectives of God.
How’s your heart? What fruit is it bearing today?