Good Fruit?

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. John 15:4

We are a product of our environment. When I say ‘we’ I am referencing every living organism on the planet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no expert but I have been doing some research. Have you ever noticed that even though we are born with instincts, we conform to what’s around us? Dogs are a perfect example, we ‘train’ them to obey our commands. Sit! Stay! Roll over! If we spend time with them they learn. Now flip it, if a dog never has a trainer or someone spending time to teach them they aren’t gonna know what you want them to do when given the same commands. I have a husky named Akira, today is her birthday(completely random sorry🙃), if she has puppies and they grow up in two different houses they will act completely different. If one is trained to stay inside it is going to act completely different than the other that is stays in the back yard. Despite the fact that they are from the same source they are completely different.

Humans are the same way, no two people are the same. We have identical twins that look the same but something always sets them apart. Look at the movie Parent Trap, the girls grew up on the complete other side of the planet but still shared more than just a face. They liked the same foods and shared many of the same thoughts and ideas. Most siblings seem completely different, but they usually share the same beliefs and views on life. My brother and I are also a good example of this. Joseph likes dancing and is the life of the party while I take more of a social and talkative approach. Despite our personality differences, we share the same morals because of the way we were raised. We may not see eye to eye on every issue but we agree for the most part.🤷🏽‍♂️ Our values are based on principles laid out in the Bible that were instilled in us at an early age. I may have swayed a little farther than he did but you guys get the point.

Paul says our bodies are living sacrifices, and our minds and thoughts should not be influenced by the ways on the world. Every day we are drowned in bad news, from mass killings and racial profiles to the Smollett case and a “National Emergency.” Where’s all the good news?!?! Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, a day to share love with EVERYONE! Not just for your significant other… We get so caught up in these holidays and try to do something special when every day should be spent sharing love. We shouldn’t need a holiday to express the way we feel about someone else. Just like animals we take in what we are fed and just conform to what the world wants for us. We are trained into a routine and we don’t even realize it. We focus on what our eyes can see and don’t take care of what really matters.

Our mind, our body, and our soul is what we are supposed to be building up. God has put you with others not by accident, but on purpose, with a purpose, and for a purpose. We are products of our environment. When we are surrounded by people that hold us accountable for our actions it becomes easy to do whats right. But if all we are feeding our brains is hurt, loss, and defeat thats all we will feel. Recently I was introduced to a brand ’Slotra’, its slogan is “Slow your step, enjoy your travel.” This really spoke to me. We must slow down our actions every day and evaluate the pros and cons. We must think about the benefits of what we are doing and ask ourselves “is this helping me, or hurting me?” Take a step back. Don’t rush to judgement, search to find the full story. We’ve all heard “don’t judge a book by the cover.” I challenge you to slow down and look deeper into things; don’t jump to conclusions. Things aren’t always as they seem.

2 Timothy says to be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Nothing happens overnight, it takes time. In Hebrews 11 it says He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. We must get up and get out, we can not be lazy and expect things to come to us. Progress only takes place out side of your comfort zone. Good things come to those that wait but great things come to those that work! Faith without works is dead. We need both faith and work to fulfill Gods purpose for our lives, they go hand and hand. Read James 2:14-26, a body can not live without a spirit, just like faith is nothing without works. We must work to be like Him and have faith He will keep his word.

Don’t become a product of a bad environment. Feed your mind, body and soul the word of God. Try finding a devotional to read daily or follow a page on social media with daily scriptures. Whatever it is, stay consistent and strive to get better each day. The more you get into his word, the more his word will get into you… think about it.

We branch out and go our separate ways,

Like leaves we start our journey.

In the end we must remember,

We came from the same tree.

-Joshua Owens



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