Our actions disclose what goes on within us, just as its fruit makes
known a tree otherwise unknown to us. (Thalassios the Liban)
The other day I stopped at a garage to get my car repaired. Several men had gathered there, as was their custom, to talk small town politics and headline news. The local funeral home director, who is quite a character, was present on this particular morning. In I strolled, a local Pastor. Even before I was seated someone said, “Hey preacher, you heard this one?” “What’s it rated?” I asked.
I don’t know who the guys loved to tease most—the Preacher or Funeral Director. Mortician made a good target because he was both loud and outspoken. “Hey guys,” I said, “you’ve got the perfect set up here today. I will get you right with God and Mortician can lay you to rest. Any volunteers?” Funeral Director blurted out, “Preacher, you don’t have to worry about getting me right, because I’m as right as they come! My heart is true to God and I have made my peace with the Almighty—and that’s a fact.” Another gentleman chimed in when Mortician finished expounding on his right standing with the Lord, “Something is wrong if you’re right with God!” Everyone laughed. Mechanic commented, “Mortician, there is no way in hell that you’re right! Excuse me Preacher, I forgot you were here.” “That’s okay it’s my day off.” The consensus among the guys that day—something was definitely wrong if Mortician was right with God.
“A tree is known by its fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit” (Jesus Christ). We can make a host of claims concerning our faith but the real test is the way we live our lives. “Untilled soil, however fertile it may be, will bear thorns and thistles; and so it is with our mind” (Teresa of Avila). There is an old expression, “You’ve got to walk your talk.” Paul the Apostle wrote, “They claim to know God but by their actions they deny Him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing any good thing” (Titus 1:16). “As the body without the spirit is dead so faith without works is dead also” (James).