You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act…A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. – Matthew 7:16-18
It’s no secret that I am into fitness. Being a former college athlete, I still have that discipline and desire to sweat, be competitive and maintain my physique. This year I actually decided to share my fitness habits on social media, with the hopes of encouraging others to be active and healthy. With the hopes of showing others that it’s not rocket science and doesn’t take much time. Being fit and healthy takes discipline. One thing that helps me with discipline is actually making my goals public and sharing my journey. While I am working on strengthening my individual discipline, the public accountability and persona I create for myself help keep me on track. I was encouraged in my journey recently as a friend made note of my specific progress towards my fitness goals. He mentioned looking at old pictures and being able to tell the progress that I have made, losing a couple pounds and leaning out. It felt good knowing not only that my work paying off, BUT also that I am an example. I walk it like I talk it! The things I say I do, I actually do. (most of the time)
#message People can look at you and tell the work you put it AND what you represent.
That’s how we should approach the goals and purpose for our life. Do our actions line up with our goals? The hardest part of matching our walk with our talk is definitely the sacrifice that comes with it. Am I willing to give up X to get Y? (Sorry, I’m an accountant so tend to think in terms of equations). Are we making the necessary sacrifices to get from point A to point B and beyond?
If I need to get in shape, am I willing to sacrifice sleep or evening activities to work out?
If I need to get healthier, am I willing to sacrifice foods that are not good for me?
If I need to pass this class or exam, am I willing to sacrifice fun times with friends so I can study?
We should also apply this “walk it talk it” idea to our witness as Christians. Does our lifestyle reflect the God that we serve? Now, the key scripture discusses false prophets (hypocrites) but it’s basically warning folks of deceivers and explaining that you can tell who people are by the fruits they bear. When the Bible discusses fruit, it’s referring to the final product or output. The fruit of the Spirit as defined by the Bible in Galatians 5:22-23 is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. All of those together should be on display in our behavior. Unfortunately, sometimes we miss the mark with some activities we partake in, things we say, even messages we share on social media. Sometimes our final product and output is actually the opposite of the God we serve.
*We claim to love God but we don’t stick to His principles. *We claim to love God but we ignore His Word. *We claim to love God but we talk negative about His people and Church. *We claim to love God but don’t spend time with Him. *
So again – does our lifestyle reflect the God we serve? Are we bringing people to Christ or are we keeping them away? Things to consider:
Does my lifestyle reflect Christ and follow the Biblical principles?
Do my actions reflect Christ?
Do my social media post reflect Christ?
Are there some things I need work on and/or cut out?
I want to encourage us today to constantly be aware of our walk. Making sure we are not false witnesses or prophets…but true to the things and God we say we represent! We have to be specifically careful that what we are doing and saying is not contradictory and does not deter people from the mission of bringing others to Christ. We should be witnesses for God (Acts 22:15). Though it may require sacrifice, discipline, even some separation, the scriptures encourage us that as long as we abide in Him, He will help us to bear fruit (John 15:4).
Peace. Blessings. Love.