Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Inner Person (09/09/10)
TITLE: Know by Fruit
By Edmond Ng
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So then, you will know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:20 NAS)It is never easy to read or understand the inner person of someone. This is because many people do not speak out what is in their minds or hearts.
According to experts in the field of body language reading, relying on words or verbal communication alone is not good enough to understand the feelings or thoughts of the one we know. What people say is often very different from what they think or feel. It is easy to say something untrue, insincere, unconsciously or nonchalantly. With the right knowledge in body language, however, the experts believe we can uncover what our friends, co-workers, spouse, customers or anyone else may be hiding from us. The most effective way in uncovering hidden desires, thoughts or emotions—according to them—is to observe, read and interpret body language correctly.
Much like the study of body language in uncovering the feelings and thoughts of others through observation, the Bible also teaches of a way by which we can be aware of people’s intents by knowing their fruits (Matthew 7:15-16). Just as good trees bear good fruits, so shall the good intents of the pure in heart show forth from their inner person the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Matthew 7:17-20; Galatians 5:22-23). In contrast, just as bad trees bear bad fruits, so shall the ill intents of the impure in heart show forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness and slander (Matthew 15:19). Such will be the evil deeds of the evildoers be revealed (1 Samuel 24:13), for nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light (Mark 4:22; Luke 8:17).
Let us therefore be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves while in the midst of wolves (Matthew 10:16). Let us beware of people who come in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves (Matthew 7:15). With watchful eyes, let us observe and understand what’s going on around us and not be deceived by the ones who have come with ill intent to destroy the harmony we have as believers in the Lord.
Thank You, dear Lord, for showing us the way by which we can identify people by their fruits to know their intent. Help us Lord to always be sensitive to Your guidance in keeping watchful eyes on all ill intents aimed at deceiving or destroying, to be observant in uncovering the evil plots and deeds of evildoers. Guard our hearts Lord that we may with purity of hearts reveal the fruit of the Spirit in us of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Open our eyes Lord that we may not gage people merely from the external but be shrewd in seeing beyond to understand the inner person. Grant, O Lord, that whatever is hidden which deserves praise be praise given, and whatever is of ill intent be eradicated.
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