Fruit Inspection And Discernment

So what is the difference between inspecting and judging? Let’s look at the two definitions. To inspect means to “look at someone or something closely – to observe”. The definition of judging is to “form an opinion or conclusion about” someone or something. So it is very different to observe and gather information and to draw conclusions. We have to be very careful with our conclusions because they often lead to us placing labels on people. But our God doesn’t accept the labels that we place on others. Our God is unlimited and he can change anything or anyone. And besides, we can’t take the labels we place on ourselves or others to heaven, and they sure can’t withstand the fires in hell. 

Scripture:
“Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” – Matthew 7:20


Image courtesy of: BPPrice

Observation/Application:
So how can we inspect and not judge? Jesus shows us how. First we have to know the Lord, seek him and draw close to him always. When we seek God first by reading, praying, and spending time with God, we will know Him more. And the more we know him the more that we will both hear and receive His counsel. So that is 100% within our control. It has nothing to do with anyone else. So how do we know if someone is about to wrong us? First we turn to the Lord.

Next we look for those who do the will of our Father in heaven. Another great reference for this is teaching to do to to others what you would have them do to you. So how people act toward others is a great way to discern who they really are. And it isn’t the way the person acts in public, but how they act when they think no one else is watching. It’s like that time before the interview how they interact with the secretary, or the waitress, or person at the cash register. It’s how they act when they think that the interaction doesn’t matter. It truly reveals how close they are to the Lord. As quality expert Mr. Ritsuo Shingo once said to me, “you must learn to watch with a big eye, a big ear, and a small mouth.”

Last but not least, we can inspect and not judge by looking at someone’s house. And by this I don’t mean their street address and their physical home. Here I am talking about their heavenly home. Are they building it on sand, or on the rock, that is the Word of God? Does the love of God rule in their hearts? If so, their actions (their fruit) will reflect their heart (their tree). How frequent do they seek the Lord? Do they read the Bible regularly? Do they attend church without fail? Do they get involved and volunteer to help out? Do they seek to connect in relationships at the church or sit in the back row? Is their praise a tactical performance or a messy and beautiful overflow of love from their heart?

So in all of this, we can inspect the fruit. We can recognize the facts, and then act wisely and not yoke ourselves unequally. But let us never forget that God can do all things and turn around any person or any situation. While you may not be the person to change them, understand that God has a plan for everyone. The key is to honor God in all circumstances and walk in his truth and love. We can’t let it turn our hearts from the love of God nor allow them any less respect and courtesy than Jesus would have for them. If our hearts are bitter, upset, judgmental over what others are doing, that is a sign that God working on us. If nothing can separate us from the love of God through Christ Jesus, we should look at the plank in our own eye and consider why we would let a dog or a pig separate us from the love of Christ.

#Let’s-Inspect-Our-Fruit-First

Prayer:
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word, and for your wisdom which surpasses all human understanding. Fill us with your goodness as we start a new day. Bring peace to our hearts, and forgiveness for those who have wronged us. Help us to discern between good fruit and bad fruit. Help us to walk through this day and make good decisions. Let your light shine so bright in us that no darkness can exist. We turn to you Lord and seek you first today and every day. Let our day be blessed, for your glory, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.

Today’s full reading: 1 Samuel 23; Psalm 31;54; Matthew 7

Scripture References From Today’s Reflection:

  • “”You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:5
  • “Do not give dogs what is holy; do not throw your pearls before swine. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.” – Matthew 7:6
  • “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7
  • “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” – Matthew 7:18
    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 7:21
  • “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:12
  • “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” – 2 Corinthians 6:14
  • “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” – Jeremiah 29:11

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