You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? –Matthew 7:16
“Weary by the ways of the world” are the lyrics that rang in my head as I begin to type this post. It’s a song by Solange which I believe speaks about the importance of authenticity, and the vast absence of it in today’s day and age due to everyone’s attempt to fit in with what they believe is the standard.
When I decided to take this journey with this section of my blog, it was an effort to not only spread the word about the importance of making our outsides match our insides, but to also shed light on the parts of myself that weren’t as fruitful. The more I grow the more I’m only interested in being the most authentic version of myself. I'm sure that at times I’ll still perform, people please, lie, or even omit less than desirable things to protect my ego; but I suppose old habits die hard. It isn’t my goal to be perfect, but to be human, be more aware, and to produce fruit.
*That's Tweetable* The more I grow the more I'm only interested in being the most authentic version of myself.
For me, the above cited verse is a reminder about how important it is that our outside behaviors are consistent with our inside motivations and dispositions. “You will know them by their fruit” means that eventually you see beyond the surface, and sometimes what’s so pretty on the outside isn’t so nice on the inside. So, it’s vital that the two are consistent. Every moment we’re faced with a choice to either cultivate fruit or create more garbage. The fruit that I’m referring to are the traits and dispositions that are embedded in us and add to the milieu of our mental, emotional, and physical environments.
Biblically fruit consists of behaviors that are grounded in: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, long suffering, kindness, and faithfulness. From a recovery standpoint, that fruit might look like: honesty, willingness, integrity, humility, and faith just to name a few. And in layman’s terms, good fruit is when you are intentional about being the opposite of an a**hole.
I understand that this is easier said than done for some. But difficult doesn’t mean impossible. This type of self-growth requires awareness, work, and willingness. And it’s for those who want to be more intentional about growing their fruit, and want their actions to be consistent with good fruit.
I notice that we can put on the make-up, wear the clothes, get the degrees, acquire the clean time, have the wedding, write the books, preach the word, AND STILL have the rottenest fruit on the inside. And this makes me weary. I'm weary of the ways of this world. And I believe that it’s imperative that we as individuals take a greater responsibility for our own internal work. And in an age of #BowWowChallenges, Filters, and just about faux everything, authenticity is so necessary.
So, I charge you to look at you. Check your insides, and see if they’re consistent with how you show up in the world. Explore your choices, do they match your values? Your attitudes and behaviors are they grounded in integrity? If you’re on the ‘nay’ side of these questions, then what are you doing to cultivate a more abundant garden? How are you growing your fruit?
*That's Tweetable* Check your insides and see if they're consistent with how you show up in the world.
Just like you will know others by their fruit, others will know you by yours. Self-awareness avails us nothing, so lets be intentional about our fruit in whatever way thats effective for you. For me that means being more proactive in my practice of meditation, therapy, reading, writing, and prayer because these things allow me to express the above cited traits a lot easier. My intentional fruit growth also means that I'll work on being more accepting and loving towards those closet to me.