There’s a lot of chatter in our churches about producing fruit. We need to be attached to the vine so we produce good fruit. We judge church health by the fruit its members produce and by what fruit we see coming out of it. I think producing fruit has become the measurement of success for the Believer.
I agree with the idea that we need to be producing fruit. It’s a natural outflow of a life connected to Jesus. The vine and the branch. When connected to Jesus, we will produce fruit. It truly is a litmus test of a spiritual reality.
I would like to propose another aspect of fruit that we don’t hear talked about very often in our churches today.
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)
I’m not going to ask you “What fruit you are producing today?” Instead, I am going to ask you, “What fruit are you eating today?”
Did you catch the last part of that verse? When we speak death or life we eat it. We actually ingest what comes out of our mouth. In Solomon’s wisdom he wrote that our tongues carry with it death and life and we eat the fruit of what we speak. So when we speak death, we eat death. When we speak life, we eat life!
Sometimes the things that come out of us are caused by the things that come in. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23) It’s the whole “garbage in, garbage out” idea. Be careful little eyes what you see and little ears what you hear. So we do need to be guarding what comes in, but that’s only part of the story.
The other part that isn’t talked about very often is the idea of guarding what comes out. What comes out of your tongue? Death or life?
I love this poem. I’ve always been fascinated with the life and poems of Emily Dickinson. This one has always been one of my favorites. It’s so true. There is power in our words. We say something flippantly not realizing that we actually just planted a type of seed for a plant in our garden.
What seeds are you planting in your garden? Are you grumbling and complaining under your breath? Do you speak poorly about the people who anger you? What are you saying about your fellow drivers as you drive down the road. What are you speaking over your children even when they can’t hear you?
I have to admit, I am a naturally cynical person. My personality is one that is usually skeptical at first. So this concept of speaking life into a situation was very hard for me. It didn’t feel right… at first. It was always much easier for me to point out the bad instead of speaking out what good I want to see.
What does it mean to speak life or speak death? Think of the last time someone cut you off while driving. What did you say in that moment? I’ve had to train myself to compliment them. To speak blessings over them. That’s speaking life.
I could give lots of examples. But honestly, I don’t want to create a low unto itself. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. So I’m going to ask you to get to a quiet place with the Holy Spirit and just meditate on this verse. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the reality of your words.
Lord, Show me what fruit I am eating when I speak today. What seeds am I planting in my garden that I will later sow? Am I speaking life or speaking death over people today? I ask you for opportunities where I can speak life into people’s lives today. Give me a chance to bless people with my words. AMEN.
© Dacian Keaton Ministries, 2019. All rights reserved.