Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Guys, I Planted the Wrong Tree

"...each tree is known by its own fruit." -Jesus from Luke 6:44

I was told this story:
A man and his family loved Golden Delicious Apples, and he owned some land. One day his wife asked him if he would plant some Golden Delicious Apple trees. The man was excited about the opportunity to own his own Golden Delicious trees. He went to a farmer and got some seeds for Golden Delicious trees. He planted those seeds and the trees grew.

About two years later the trees were starting to produce fruit. The man was proud, but his wife was a little concerned because she had gone out to the tree and noticed there was something wrong with the fruit. Upon further investigation she realized they weren't producing Golden Delicious apples... they were producing peaches.


She brought her husband out to the trees and he was appalled. How could he have been sold the wrong trees. He decided he was going to do something about it.

That night he went to the local grocer and picked up some Golden Delicious apples. He went back to the trees, picked off all the peaches, and stapled the fresh apples to the branches of the trees. The next day he brought his wife outside and said, "Look, Golden Delicious apple trees!"

It didn't take her long to see the staples holding the fake fruit on the tree. "You can staple any fruit you want to these trees," she explained, "but it doesn't mean these aren't peach trees. These are peach trees down to their roots."

The man hung his head in disappointment.

This story was told to me in a counseling class and revolutionized how I thought about my own and other peoples problems. In this story the tree represents our hearts and the fruit represents our actions. Jesus said it this way:
A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit; on the other hand, a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs aren’t gathered from thornbushes, or grapes picked from a bramble bush. A good man produces good out of the good storeroom of his heart. An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. Luke 6:43-45
You are your fruit. What you do is who you are. I often think of myself as a good person, but then I examine the things I do and realize I'm not such a good person. I produce some pretty stinking fruit. The problem isn't my actions but the source of them. The problem is my heart.

The same is true for you. Your problem is your heart, and your heart can't help but worship. We worship cars, people, houses, a perfect family, God, school... you get the picture. What your heart worships (desires most in life) will be what nurtures your tree. Your heart is not separate from you, it is you. If you have ever wondered what's inside someone's heart look at what they do. Their fruit shows who the really are inside. ...For his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. What's in the heart comes out in the way people live. A close examination of ourselves quickly reveals we need help.

We can staple good fruit on our tree. We can post it on Facebook and Instagram. Screaming, "Hey guys, look how good I am!" But most of us know deep down we're not good people. Our fruit stinks and all we're doing is stapling good fruit on a bad tree.

The only real solution is to change the tree. How? Christ. Some of you guys reading this blog haven't had God do a tree transplant on your life. You wonder why you're producing bad fruit, it's because your roots are trying to live in dead soil. Today, the first step to living the life you and God desire is to change what your heart worships... where your tree is planted. Find yourself in God. Not in the opinions of others. Not where you live or what you wear. Not how good your kids are or aren't. Not in your grades, your bad health, or intense exercise routine. What you've been looking for can only be found in Jesus Christ.

Today if you're already a child of The King: examine your actions, search your heart, make sure your roots are planted deep in God's rich soil, find yourself loved, and start living like you represent the King of Kings.