So this anger thing. It spews out in words. Words that come from the core of a heart. The depths of what’s already there laid bare, only revealing what has been put inside.
“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” Matthew 12: 33-35
We recognize an apple tree because, well, it bears apples. We see the deepest and hidden-most parts, that which composes the very fibers of a being by what is made known. By what is made visible. By what is revealed.
Friends, we are known by our fruit.
And if known by our fruit, doesn’t the question now become, what is it that we are storing up in ourselves? What is it that is burrowed in the deep, hidden places that inevitably presses forth to unearth itself? What really is it that we are full up of?
Because the fruit of our life will make it very clear.
And if you’re like me, aren’t we all just a bit tired of the fruit of our flesh? Aren’t we all just a bit tired of the predictability of our sinfulness? Because oh yes, we saw that one coming a mile away.
Really, aren’t we all just yearning for a bit more of the Spirit’s fruit? That He might increase and we might decrease? (John 3:30)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
And for those of us in Christ? Listen to this..
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (vs 24-25)
Since we live by the Spirit, that flesh? It’s been crucified with Christ.
He’s done the work, why do we go on living like He hasn’t?
Instead, let us keep in step with the Spirit, altering the very substance of the hidden-most parts, that which is stored up. But how?
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15: 5
Apart from Him, nothing. Apart from Him, all our righteous acts are as filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6)
But with Him?
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” (vs 7-9)
Remain. Abide. In Him, in His Word, in His love.
Bearing fruit not of the flesh, but of His Spirit within us. Fruit that will glorify the Father. Fruit that displays what’s are our true core.
Fruit that identifies us as His.
And this abiding, this keeping in step with the Spirit?
His Spirit at work in us can wrestle out even the most ugliest of sins.
Even the gnarly sin of anger and destructive words.
And as we wrestle and remain in our Father’s love, the words of David will be on my tongue instead.
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)