Stressful Conversation (When the Fruit Ripens)

Rob Stroup
Written by Rob Stroup

Sometimes we cannot discern what type of tree we have until the fruit ripens

Luke 6:43-45: For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Have you ever heard someone say, “he didn’t really mean what he said; he’s just under a lot of stress right now”? That statement disagrees with what Christ said in Luke 6. When our emotions are high, what we really think and believe in our heart spills out. Jesus calls it “fruit” that identifies the type of tree we are looking at. Many times we are shocked by words that comeout of our mouths when we are disappointed, angry, or sad. When we hear ourselves say unkind or untrue things, it surprises us. The reason for our surprise is that we do not know our own hearts. We have a great tendency to be self righteous and think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think! Many times these “slips of the tongue” happen after a spiritual victory in our lives, like a decision to be faithful in Bible reading or to be obedient in service to God. This is exactly what happened to Peter. In Matthew 26:31-35, he declares his loyalty to Christ, and in verses 69-75 we see Peter caving in to pressure with his words. Certainly Peter felt good about his brave declaration of loyalty when he said it! But Jesus knew what was in Peter’s heart and Peter had to be tested so he could learn humility. No wonder God allows us to be tried! It shows us what is in our deceitful and desperately wicked heart. (Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?)

On the other hand, what a blessing it is to see Christians handle stress well. It is evidence that they are allowing the Holy Spirit to influence them, being obedient to the Word of God, and trusting God to help them handle their circumstances. Often I have opportunity to visit church members when they are struggling, especially in bereavement or illness. Over and over I am amazed at how our Christian brethren receive trials as from the hand of God and evidence His glory in their conversation. Several times I have heard it said, “Although this is hard, God is good!” Praise the Lord for a Christian willing to submit to difficult events in order to glorify Him! That should be the desire and prayer of our heart.

"Lord, in every circumstance, let my reactions glorify You today."