Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. – Matt. 12:33 KJV
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The above scriptural passage is part of the response that Jesus gave in his reaction to the accusation by the Pharisees that he was driving out evil spirits with the power of Beelzebub. The response which could be classified into two parts with Jesus debunking the basis for such allegation in the first part, by saying that it is not possible for evil to fight evil. The second part was Jesus presenting that a man’s comment can only be a reflection of who he is, and that is the focus of today’s devotion.
In the scripture for today, Jesus compares a man’s statement to fruits and the man himself as the tree bearing the fruit. He presents that, it is not possible for someone who is bad to produce good fruits, just as it is not possible for a good person to produce bad fruits.
He advised that, for a bad tree to produce good fruit, there will be the need to first make the tree good. More importantly is that a tree will be identified by its fruits which implies that a man will be recognised by his words. “Talk is cheap” is a common statement during discussions among people. It simply implies that it costs nothing for most people to open there mouth and talk. All thanks to God because there are several people who open their mouth but cannot talk. For those category of people, talk is not cheap.
However for those who can talk, talk may actually be cheap but good and sensible talk is not cheap. It is very important for one who can talk, not to just open his/her mouth to talk but must ensure that what comes out of that mouth makes sense. Many people have gotten themselves into deep mess because they could not control what was coming out from their mouth and even when trying to clear the mess that their talking has created, they open their mouth and worsen things with another bad talk.
One who wants to make success in life must be able to talk well. Statements made by people have made them successful just as for some people, the words from their mouth has sent them to jail. The Psalmist recognises the importance of what comes out of the mouth when he pleaded with God to allow the words of his mouth to be acceptable to Him – Ps. 19:14. Jesus Christ himself said that what comes out from the mouth of a man can make a man unclean – Matt. 15:11. So both physically and spiritually, what a man is saying can determine the direction of his life.
One who does not know how to talk will like find life very unbearable. Enemies and antagonists are not scarce for one who does not know how to talk. Just as talking wrongly or too much can bring challenges, not talking sufficiently can also land one in an equally big mess. There is no way one can ever understate the importance of talking in shaping one’s destiny. Jesus said that one will be justified by what comes out of his /her mouth – Matt. 12:37. Anyone who wants to succeed in life must add learning how to talk as part of the essentials for success.
In the case of the Pharisees, it was going to be the reason why they will not receive forgiveness in this world and in the world to come – Matt. 12:31. Where do you, reading this stand in all these. Are you sure your challenge is not the result of your inability to manage your talk? As much as God is able to repair the damage done by your inability to talk, the long term solution is for you to learn how to use your mouth. Jesus says that the way to achieve that is to change the personality which implies that a man’s talks reflects his person. God can change you if you are willing. All you have to do is to let him know that you do not like what your upbringing or your environment has turned you into and you request His support in changing you to a better person. No doubt that once he does that, the fruits of your mouth will change and your life will begin to turn around for good. May God help you as you begin to ask him to change you in Jesus name. Amen.