A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. –Matthew 12:33
There is a slogan commonly used when describing a trip to Vegas: “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” The idea is that when people go to Las Vegas, they get license to do things they would never normally do, to act like they would never normally act, and to sin in ways they would never normally sin. So what if you cheat on your wife? This is Vegas! So what if you are irresponsible with your money? This is Vegas! So what if you…?
The problem is many Christians are living their faith this way. When you compartmentalize your faith the slogan becomes, “What happens at church, stays at church,” or, “What happens away from church, stays away from church.” Many Christians are living out their faith only Sundays at church and when they don’t feel like being a Christian, they stuff their church selves away until Sunday when they need to be good again.
Christians are called to be Christians not just some of the time, but all of the time. We are called to be Christ-like in all of our actions, not just some of our actions. When Christians live a compartmentalized faith, they do a great job at being a good Christian at church on Sunday, but come Monday morning (or even in the parking lot on the way out!) all bets are off. You fill up on Sunday with a dose of Christianity and respond as the perfect Christian, but come Monday when your co-worker is late with a project…the evil thoughts take over and start plucking away at any good fruit that was being produced the day before.
The Bible says that we can be recognized by the fruit we produce in our lives. What kind of fruit are you producing? More than that, what kind of fruit are others noticing you are producing when they see you on a daily basis? Are you producing the fruits of the Spirit that are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? The challenge of the Christian faith is being a Christian 24/7. The challenge is being a Christian not just when everyone is looking but also when no one is looking.
1. What type of fruit is your life bearing?
2. In what ways do you live a life that is Christ-like, and in what ways is your life Christ-less? Pray right now that God would move you towards living your faith in all aspects of your life.
Matthew 7:18-20; Matthew 12:33-37; Galatians 5:22-23