Be the Good Fruit

By Marjorie Foerster Eddington

How do we be the good fruit? It may seem like an odd question. But Jesus said, “By their fruit you will recognize them” (Matt 7:16 EHV). He said a good tree produces good fruit; a bad tree, bad fruit. So what kind of tree are you? What kind of fruit do you produce?

We can look at it a couple ways: we can be the good tree, producing good fruit, doing good things, taking care of others. And, we can also be the good fruit with God as the tree and us reflecting God’s goodness. Either way, God is the source of our goodness, and we are responsible for sharing that goodness, for doing something with the gifts God gives us—good fruit, good works. So what good works do we want to accomplish this summer?

If we’re working at a job (or even working at home or at summer school), what attitude can we have that will produce good fruit? We can…

  • be cheerful hard workers.
  • be grateful for the opportunity to serve others, to earn money, to work towards self-sufficiency, to help our family.
  • stay focused on the job, not worrying about what our co-workers, classmates, are doing.
  • learn as much as possible so that we increase our experience and skill-set.
  • take the initiative: if we see something that needs to be done, we can do it or bring up ideas on how to improve something.
  • help other people and make them feel successful, being supportive and encouraging.

Now, what is the fruit that these attitudes produce? It is varied and often subtle, but the fruit is always good. Employers, customers, co-workers are attracted to these attitudes, which usually increase customer satisfaction and sales. Parents and siblings also feel the positive effects of such attitudes. Our character is what matters most. So in everything we do, we can be kind and honest, loving and caring.

Getting ahead of someone else, making the most money—those are material traps. They’re kind of like the wolves in sheep’s clothing, the false prophets of which Jesus speaks in the Sermon on the Mount. They look like they should be our goals, but they’re lacking the power of God. When we are here to serve, to express and share our God-given gifts, then we have the power of God with us.

When we’re with our friends, what good fruits can we share or produce?

  • Include others. There are so many people who yearn to be included, who just want a friend, who want to belong. Be the one who brings people in.
  • Speak only kind and encouraging words. This can be hard when there’s so much gossip and trash-talk going on. But there’s no profit in tearing others down. We hurt our own character when we do that.
  • Stay true to ourselves and to God. We’re not going to be manipulated or bullied by others.
  • Stand up lovingly for principle. We can express moral courage—doing the right thing even when it’s hard.

Being a good friend and being true to yourself and God can be difficult, but it is well worth it. If you want to produce good fruit, be good fruit, and have a successful life, it’s really important to know that you are the good fruit. If you’re in doubt as to whether or not you can be or do good, you can even say daily, “I am the good fruit. I am the good tree. I am strong, loving, kind, patient, courageous, honest, worthy, successful.” It may sound silly, but saying this will help you believe you’re good. We tend to listen to our thoughts and words. You already are good. You already can produce good fruit. You just have to believe it. So, have a good time acting out from God’s goodness—being the good fruit.