We all like fruit of some type. Some of us prefer the traditional apples, pears, oranges, or bananas. Others prefer tropical fruits such as papaya, mango, passion fruit, or pomegranates. No matter the type of fruit we prefer, we typically want it fresh and ripened properly.
If you know anything about fruit trees, you know the very young, freshly planted trees don’t bear fruit immediately. It takes years of tending to the trees, fertilizing and pruning, for a tree to begin to bear fruit. Continued care is needed for that tree to mature into a bumper crop producing tree.
Perhaps this is why Jesus used the fruit analogy when talking about a person’s heart. Much like a tree whose roots draw in water and nutrients from the ground around it, our hearts and minds draw from the inputs around us. There is a significant amount of those inputs at our discretion, far more than we think about.
Sure, there are environmental factors when we are children that are out of our control. But as we grow into an adult, we largely choose our environment, even when we are at work. We choose to hang around with our co-workers who are telling off color jokes, complaining about everything, judging everyone they see, and generally spewing discontent. We can walk away from them or choose to use headphones or earbuds at most office jobs.
We choose the books we read, the television shows and movies we watch, and the friends we hang around. Our choices are feeding our hearts and minds. Our minds remember far more than we believe or give credit to ourselves. Oh, it might not be brought to our consciousness, but it is the unconscious mind that plays a significant underground roll in what comes out of us. It is the unconscious mind that directs much of our immediate reactions. We say it comes without thinking. Yet we do think, it’s simply unconscious thinking.
Notice it is the unconscious mind Jesus is referring to in today’s passage. He is talking about the deep-seeded memories that we may have forgotten about consciously. Jesus is stating much of our behavior is determined by the piles of unconscious memories written on our hearts and minds.
Will those memories ever go away? No. But we can compile good in our hearts and minds that will overwhelm and reduce significantly, if not eliminate, the control the bad has over us. The good we take in will begin to change our behavior, causing us to produce good fruit rather than bad.
I pray we all decide to take in good. I pray we seek to overwhelm the bad from our past with good going forward. I pray each of us will become a person who produces good fruit. Feed good to yourself. Eliminate the bad influences. Produce good fruit. Reprogram your heart and mind.
Luke 6:43-45 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”