So, we are still talking about fruit right?
And you said we don’t all produce the same fruit right?
Yes! We all produce fruit but it won’t be identical.
Are there any fruits that we can produce alike?
In reality, all our paths should produce love, joy, peace, grace and compassion in us, however, the depth varies based on process and person.
What do you mean by process?
The process is the walk each of us has with God.
So how does the process affect the fruit?
Think about it this way! The things that happen in life make up our process and will determine where we get to in life. These experiences trigger responses from us and the responses produce results. The results are the fruits of our lives.
Now, say you meet me one day and I am off the rails doing all those things that we say a Christian shouldn’t do and you decide I am not worth your time and walk away. Why have you walked away?
Simple…you are doing things I cannot live with.
So, the reality is that because of how I am living, my fruit shows that I am on the wrong path.
So you scatter and we have no contact for a while because I am ‘lost’ and will ‘contaminate’ you. A few years later you meet me and I am a different person in a different space and deeper with God. how would you respond to me?
Ok, let me use an example. You know my gal?
Sure… we met a few years ago.
When I met her, I was generally a good guy and she was a solid Christian girl. She didn’t give me time of day because I loved my bottle of booze and partying. Please note, I was raised in a Christian home. My family was already giving me grief about my life choices so I wasn’t shocked when she shunned me too. I loved her at first sight but I knew I wasn’t good enough for her yet I knew that she is the one for me. I also couldn’t see how it would happen unless I changed my ways.
So you changed your ways?
Of course not!
I had always said that if I changed my life it would be because I wanted to and not to make another human being happy!
But you are married to her now?
Yes…but it took time.
What do you mean took time?
Well, God had to deal with me first!
I hated everything Christian because of how the Christians around me lived their lives. I hated the way they judged me without asking why I did the things I did. I hated that they had already decided I was going to hell and nothing could help me. I hated that even my family would just send me messages that I need to come to the faith yet here was nothing attractive about their faith. I watched them live lives full of judgement and self-righteousness that I didn’t want to be party to anything they had. To me it was all rules, regulations and codes of conduct that never really changed their hearts.
Isn’t that a harsh assessment?
Well…it was true. If indeed Jesus was all they said He was and if walking with Him would transform their lives, why were they so scared to die? Why were they so scared to be without and not have a plan for tomorrow? Did they really believe that God would supply all their needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus? Why were they so concerned about the places they lived and had such high gates instead of going into the neighbourhoods and opening their doors to strangers?
Hey….wait a minute, the world isn’t as simple as it was in the days of Christ.
True…but why is that? Has man totally lost control? Anyway, I was so angry with Christians that I told anyone who would listen to me that there was nothing in Christianity and it was a fake religion and that they would all find themselves in hell if they weren’t careful.
Oh, yes!! It got so bad that my mum banned me from family meetings and stopped discussions on all topics religion when I was around.
You mean all topics faith?
No…all topics religion!
As far as I was concerned they were all about a list of do’s and don’ts…That my friend…is religion and not faith!
How was it possible that Christ was all inclusive and the Christians were so exclusive? How was it possible that God was all love and the Christians all judgment? Why did it always have to be us and them? If they were real Christians why did they treat their workers so badly? How did they justify building big churches and houses, driving luxury cars and there were people in the locality without work, food, education etc.? How could they be Christians and they would fight in church for power to the point of factions and church splits? How could they fault, accuse and fire a pastor who chose to spend the benevolence money on the youth in the fellowship instead of the slum twenty kilometres away? I had endless reasons to discount their religion and stay away and I took each one and dug my heels in and settled for a life lived for me. After all…the Christians actually lived for themselves and their pastors and bishops but not God.
So you went on drinking and partying?
In time, my mother realised that I wasn’t going to change so she allowed me back into the family fold and that is when things changed.
Why? You finally felt loved and accepted?
By them? Nope! Not a chance!
I saw something different.
I reconnected with one of my cousins and he was a different breed…a very different breed.
His love for God was evident …the change in him was real. There was something about him, even before he opened his mouth that was attractive. Then after he opened his mouth…he was indeed a tool used by God.
Is there proof of the difference in your life? Does your life truly showcase Christ?