Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.”
Many are confused about the Christian faith because of the bad behaviour they have seen in the lives of people who say they are Christians. But the truth is not everyone who claims to be a Christian is truly a Christian and we should not be too impressed with the claims people make until they have proved themselves.
Christianity is an open religion that embraces everybody and Churches are open societies where everyone is welcome. That in turn means that often people who are weird, disturbed or downright hypocrites can come in and be part of the fellowship and it takes some time for them to be found out. In the meantime it is possible by their inconsistent behaviour to disillusion many people who are sincerely seeking a spiritual home and a place to belong. So please remember that not everyone who says they are a Christian, is in fact, a true Christian.
The word from Jesus about good trees and bad trees is a good reminder that what we believe in our hearts will eventually show itself in our lives. By their fruit you will recognise them (Matthew 7:26).
A true Christian is someone who has experienced a new birth and has been given a new nature. Their behaviour therefore changes. They cannot go on living in bad and sinful ways because the new dynamic within them points them in a new direction. This does not mean of course that Christians are perfect people. We are all still fallen and imperfect beings, even as Christians. But the truth is that the general tone and tenure of our lives undergoes a change for the better. In spite of our mistakes it is easy to see we are changing. But the person who is not a true Christian will show a different track record. He or she may live in a scandalous way and be a bad example to others. The truth is they are not true Christians at all. Bad behaviour and a Christian life just don’t go together.
Dear Lord, please help me to reflect Jesus in all I do. Help me to live in such a way that I will recommend Him to others and not put people off.