|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Character and integrity”
Our Bible verse for today: “A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, neither can a bad tree produce good fruit … So you will recognize them by their fruit.” Matthew 7:18;20 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “You will be known by your fruit”
Integrity is everything. Character and integrity together combine to form your reputation. Your reputation is what people have come to believe to be true about you, and it is based upon what they have observed in you over the long-term. Over time, people will come to know you by what you do and by how you live. This is the truth Jesus was teaching in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:18;20 (above). It’s the fruit you produce which will ultimately tell the real story of your life, and it is the fruit you produce that will eventually form your reputation.
Do you remember our discussion from a couple of weeks ago about the principle of the righteous lie? People who abuse that principle by playing fast and loose with the truth come to be known as people who sometimes lie. Others come to know that this person cannot be relied upon to always tell the truth. They know that there are at least some times when this person will tell a lie and conclude that it was okay to do so because in their personal opinion, it was a righteous lie.
With such a person we soon realize that we can never be sure when they are telling the truth and when they are not, because it’s hard to know what fits into their category of being a righteous lie. That person then becomes known by their fruit of sometimes telling lies.
Likewise, if we have the habit of making promises that we then do not honor and fulfill, over time we will come to be known as a person who does not keep his or her word and who therefore cannot be depended upon. That will be the fruit people see produced from our actions, and that’s how they will come to know us.
Integrity is too valuable a character trait to be played with. It is too important a part of our reputation to be squandered. And no matter how clever we think we are being, over time what’s really true about us will become obvious by the fruit we produce. Jesus said so.
I encourage all of us to live in such a way that the fruit we produce is consistent with the faith we profess.
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