By Their Fruits

dp1 Every so often, I go looking for obscure podcasts. I like to listen to them as I work in the yard. I was listening to one in which the author had chronicled his path back from the New Age movement to Christianity. He has an interesting story and unique insights into scripture.

At one point in his childhood, his parents leaned pretty heavily toward the occult and other things like searching for aliens. He recounts a story of his father mentally contacting an alien who told him to watch for his spacecraft flying over at certain times and that there were actually lights in the sky at the appointed times and places.

The interesting thing is that the author didn’t spend a lot of time trying to argue about whether the things his father experienced were real or counterfeit (although we are left with no doubt that he believes Satan was pulling a con job on his father), but instead starts talking about the fruits of those experiences.

He points out that seeing the lights in the sky did nothing to improve his character, increase his wisdom, or give him deeper insights into life. He calls things like this worldly distractions.

That’s when I became truly intrigued.

In the Bible, the scripture is given as a measure of religious teachers and their doctrine. It never occurred to me to apply the measure to my daily activities!

Suddenly, I have a sound way to set my priorities!

  1. Is it in line with my duties as taught by scriptures and modern prophets?
  2. Does it produce fruits of the Spirit? During and after the activity, does it promote love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness and faith?

I know it sounds like I have just found license to totally exercise the workaholic side of my nature. My husband and I have had long discussions about how even my “play” has to have a “purpose”! But, if you examine the two standards closely, there is plenty of room to leave time for wholesome play and recreation! In fact, these standards actually encourage family time over long hours at work!

The other truth that I have discovered is that there is a difference between doing something relaxing and being entertained. I find that writing blogs, running, gardening, and other projects are relaxing. Sitting around letting a movie entertain me just doesn’t relax me as much.

So, there you have it. Another application of measure life by fruits! Let me know if you find this insight helpful or have yet another perspective on “By their fruits ye shall know them.”