Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
When Laura Leigh and I first moved to our current home, there was nothing but pine trees in the yard. I wanted to get some oaks and maple trees to plant as well. I was taught by Granny years ago, not only how and when to transplant trees, but how to choose the right one’s. I headed down to the farm to mark the trees I would later dig up and move to my house. Now, I didn’t just go and find ten oak trees and mark them for later. No, I walked until I found the most healthy and towering trees in the woods. Then, I would mark the saplings growing beneath the healthy trees. These small trees, although very small at the time, were the fruit of the larger tree. I chose those little trees because I wanted a tree just like that big, towering one.
In the church today there are many people saying many things. How do you tell what is right? How do you know who you should follow? Matthew 7:20 says, “… by their fruits ye shall know them.” You hear many people today yelling “judge not,” but the reality is you are supposed to be a fruit inspector. There are people that you should love, but not listen to.
I am in no way telling you not to love others. I am telling you that it matters who you listen to and who you allow access into your life. Would it make much sense to listen to direction concerning finances from someone who’d filed bankruptcy repeatedly? Would it make much sense to listen to direction concerning marriage from someone that had been divorced ten times? Would it make much sense to listen to direction concerning child raising from someone that all of their children were in prison? There is no fruit there!
This passage in Matthew is about ministers. You should be able to tell the real ministers from the false by their fruit as well. Fruit is character. How do they treat their spouse? Are their children submissive and living for God? Do they walk in the love of God?
Follow those who are following God! You will know this by the fruit that is being produced in their lives.