“You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?”
–Matthew 7:16 ESV
Whether you enjoy the tartness of an apple, the sweetness of a mango, or the bold flavor of a cherry, each fruit has its own unique taste and benefits. While fruit is something to be enjoyed, it also has another purpose: it is actually the ripened ovary of a flowering plant, whose purpose is to protect the seeds within. When fruit is infected by microorganisms such a yeast, mold, or bacteria, it usually gives off a foul odor, and the outer flesh of the fruit and the seeds within are compromised.
How often do we bring home fresh produce only to throw it out because we didn’t store it properly or eat it when it was at its ripened peak?
Have you taken care of the fruits that grow in your life? Are you careful to protect its seeds, thus securing not only your future enjoyment but the enjoyment from which others may benefit? We must take care of the good things we possess. In a time when cynicism and lack of civility appear to rule the day, you must not allow the germs of life to infect the essence of who you are. Do not allow the outside world to taint the sweetness of your smile, cast a shadow on the boldness of your character, or pierce the outer pectin coat of your integrity. The fruit of who you are took great time and care to grow, and it would be a tragedy to allow it to be infected with worms and other pests, causing a foul smell that repels others instead of attracting them. Lies, bitterness, anger — these roads may have little resistance, but I hope you’ll choose to value and protect the good in you. It’s not always easy to protect what’s inside of us, but we all want good fruit. May you have the courage to ripen in kindness and protect your good seeds.