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Maple Tree Fruit

by Brian Flewelling on May 18, 2021

every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit…by their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew 7:16,17, 20

There’s a fifty-foot-tall maple tree that towers over my back yard. Every month of May it drops hundreds of little spinners. You know the kind. They clog your gutters, and fill your flower beds, and wash across your driveway in waves. Two years ago I didn’t get around to mowing my lawn until late Spring. Every one of those spinners had dropped into the soil and started growing. For an entire week that year I literally had a forest of small sugar maple trees growing in my back yard.

In church when we talk about doing good deeds, or making a difference in the local community, it often sounds like we have to push the pause button on the rest of our life, stop, and perform an act of service that is interfering with our daily routine. If that is you—and it certainly has been me in seasons of life—maybe we do need to carefully consider how busy we are jamming our schedules. If we are so busy we can’t shoe-horn one more activity into a 24-hour period then we are probably too busy.

But the conversation about good fruit isn’t so much about what you do, but who you are. Trees and flowers naturally reproduce what they are. Fruit is the byproduct of living. The maple tree doesn’t say to itself, “I guess I need to stop with my busy schedule and produce fruit this month.” The fruit of what a tree is just comes out in the appropriate moments.

The fruit of love could be kindness expressed to someone who doesn’t deserve it. It could mean serving your team instead of dominating them. It could mean giving an undeserving family member a “fourth chance,” or the opposite, showing them tough love with personal boundaries. It could result in speaking words of grace, or conversely, not speaking words of criticism. Truthful love is a lifestyle that squeezes out of our thoughts, heart, motivations, words, habits, parenting, and leadership. If it lives in us, then it will come out of us naturally, in hundreds of ways.

Sure, there are seasons of pruning when we need to get out the chain saw and trim back our calendar so we can prioritize a life in balance. But for today, I simply want to encourage you to continue to sink your roots in love. Drink deeply from God’s love. And ask the Lord to show you how love can continue to reshape the responsibilities and calling you are already being diligent with.  

Tags: love, schedule, calendar, fruit, lifestyle, kindness, good deeds, good fruit

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