Guilty fruit isn’t worth much in the kingdom of God, but it is easy to get trapped into producing rotten apples. A friend asked me to join her at a prayer group. I quickly replied yes. As the day approached I realized that was a night my husband and I enjoyed watching one of our favorite television shows. That was our night. Now watch a show or go to pray? Umm, what would a good Christian do . .
I chose my husband. I love spending that time with him. But guilt started to set in for not choosing the prayer group because isn’t that what I should do? The Spirit reminded, no. It isn’t what you do but what is in your heart. The choice is between fruit of love and fruit of guilt. Which one do you think I desire?
2 Corinthians 9:7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
Guilt came from defining my goodness by my actions. I am writing about this topic in my book and God’s Word is clear, we live by grace alone. If we try adding to it, it is to our shame. Putting trust in our works in any way creates an idol. God abhors idols. I started to step outside the complete freedom and rest I have in grace and into bondage by works like every other religion. Acting on have to’s and should do’s forfeits grace and produces rotten fruit, forced and not of love.
This topic is a slippery slope because many say they do this or that out of love for God. But we have to be diligent in examining our motives. Only God and we know our hearts and even then sometimes we get fooled. I knew mine and God knew it. 1 Corinthians 16:4 Let all that you do be done with love.
Galatians 3:2-3 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
Examining my motives, I made the right choice, love. Love is the soil of true fruit. We need to slow down before we commit because of the constant temptation to prove, earn and work because it appeases our need to feel worthy and good. Our worth and goodness are defined solely in Christ. Our focus is to be on abiding in His truth, and fruit, sown in love, will be the natural outcome.
God did an amazing work in our marriage that night, who would have known? The fruit of love is worth a lot.