Wednesday, 1 September 2010

It's always the fruit that gets me

Some things in life are so fundamental, so basic to the way things work that they ought to be 'hard wired' into us, genetic 'no brainers'.
Nobody, they say, has a good enough memory to keep telling lies, fabricating the 'truth'. Lies beget more lies and they will catch you up and catch you out. We know this so why on earth would anyone lie?
But we do!
Living with a high barrier in a relationship is an uncomfortable and often unnecessary situation to be in. They are so often begun by a 'sortable' or even a minor issue - but propelled by pride and poor communication into the 'too hard to deal with' category where they fester and become cancerous. We can even reach a point where we are not even sure what caused the barrier or why we keep it there, but by this time it has become part of life and we feed it. We know this is not healthy and we often know very early on in this spiral of despair how we can avert the inevitable 'emotional crash & burn' that will follow. We know that God commands a blessing where there is unity, but, even knowing all of this, we let it happen. Why?

In Matt 3:8 Jesus says 'produce fruit in keeping with repentance' this is so obvious, such a basic principle that it surely must be part of the spiritual genetic make up of all Christians? Well, I must be the single exception as well as being particularly stupid. In Corinthians Paul talks about two types of sorrow, Godly, which is real repentance, and worldly, which is not and which leads to dark places. Basically the latter mouths the words - which may be genuinely meant at the time- but there is no follow through with life change and outward actions, whilst the former results in the 'u turn' of repentance and noticeable changes in life, action and attitude. It's obvious that so often the words are not enough, but how often does worldly sorrow prevail? How often do our repentant words fall short of repentant actions? Our words intend the 180 degree u turn but our pride, selfishness or immaturity keep the momentum going and make it a full 360 degrees! - the right words but the wrong result. A life rather more full of words than righteous works.
Well, in God's strength and by His grace, no more! Let's away with worldly sorrow and reap the benefits of abundant fruit. That is my prayer.

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