Dangerous Fruit

Words are important because they unmask our hearts.

It took me decades to tell the difference between a good relationship and a bad one. I had a tendency to overlook the warning signs of a bad relationship in my eagerness to be popular.

People who bring out the worst in me are no longer in my life. I’ve learned to keep them at a distance.

What is the difference between a good relationship and a bad one?

Perhaps Christ said it best when He stated: “A tree is identified by its fruit. A tree from a select variety produces good fruit; poor varieties don’t.” (Matthew 12:33)

If a relationship makes you feel good about yourself and contributes to you becoming the best version of yourself that you can be, it’s a good relationship. If it makes you uncomfortable, fearful, ashamed, insecure or encourages hurtful, deceitful or unhealthy behavior, it’s bad.

Relationships are shaped by the nature of the people in them; a person’s nature is revealed in part by the things a person says.

Christ teaches, “A good man’s speech reveals the rich treasures within him. An evil-hearted man is filled with venom, and his speech reveals it.” (Matthew 12:35)

A person who speaks genuinely, lovingly, and with compassion reveals a good nature.  A person who belittles, criticizes, lies, or uses an abundance of derogatory, abusive or hateful language reveals an evil nature. Good-natured people contribute to good relationships; bad-natured people do not.

Words are important because they unmask our hearts.

Christ warns us to choose our words carefully and not speak carelessly for the sake of noise: “Your words now reflect your fate then: either you will be justified by them or you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:37) If you don’t listen to what others say, you’ll never know what’s in their hearts. If you don’t say what you mean, your heart will not be known to others.

I pray to be wise enough to know my own heart and recognize the difference between relationships that make me a better person and those that do not. With God’s grace, my relationships will please Him.

 

5 thoughts on “Dangerous Fruit

  1. I am a far better person for having you in my life, past and present. I also know there were times I was not nearly as good a friend as I could have been. Thank you for never giving up on me.

    Liked by 1 person

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