40 Days, 40 Prayers

Day 18, or A Bitter Fruit

 

Wouldn’t life be so much the simpler, so much the easier, so much less painful, if people’s true spirit could be discerned by the surface of their character? If by merely looking at someone, you could know their intentions, their strengths, their weaknesses? If we could avoid altogether getting involved with the people we know to be deceptive, controlling, or spiteful?

 

As we all experience, there is no x-ray into the human heart, no way to predict who will hurt us, or when, why, or how. We simply have to find out the hard way.

 

But not everyone falls so clearly onto the side of friend or enemy. There are people who seem to be an ally, when in fact they are a saboteur. There are people who we swear as enemies who may turn out to be the person we most need. How can we tell who is who?

 

Matthew 12:33-37 “Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Within the difference between a person’s words and their actions lies their true intentions. It is helpful to call this to mind when considering the people we bring into our lives, but also to remember it for ourselves. What does the difference between my words and my actions reveal?

 

 

My prayer for today:

 

 

Lord, grant me wisdom to discern the purpose of everyone in my life, the honesty to confess when my words contradict my actions, and the humility to correct it.

 

Amen.

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