Mathew 12:33 (NKJV)
“Either make the tree good and its fruits good, or else make the tree bad and its fruits bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.”
Free will. We always have the freedom to choose our thoughts, words, and deeds. Such freedom comes with responsibilities, consequences, and the possibilities of both positive and negative outcomes. Even when it may seem we are forced into an action or forced to speak a certain way or say a certain thing… we do have that choice.
There are sometimes risks and dangers associated with doing the right thing. People can and sometimes are persecuted and even killed for defending their beliefs and their convictions. In some countries, it may be a crime to stand up and profess your faith. In some places, morality is relative and to have a moral compass is to have one with a needle that wavers wildly depending on any given situation. Right and wrong seems stuck in a ever widening grey area.
Our thoughts, words, and deeds will always be a reflection of the people we are. They will also be a reflection of those that educated us and reared us and mentored us through our lives. We have to be mindful that our thoughts, words, or deeds can have great impacts upon those around us as well as on ourselves. And there are words, thoughts, and actions we may not be able to take back or erase.
We need to feel before we think… have empathy towards others. We need to think before we speak and say something we might regret. For words can be just as sharp a weapon as any sword or spear or dagger. We need to think and feel before we act on hateful, hurtful words and thoughts.
The question we need to be thinking always as we go through life is this:
Is this how I want to be known to God? Is this how I want to be seen and received?
God knows what is most in our hearts and you better believe He knows what lies behind the thoughts, words, and deeds we carry with us. But it is always our choice. What fruit will you strive to bear? Good fruit or bad fruit?