Have you ever bought something that looked good on the surface, but when you got it home and out of the box, it lacked substance? Have you ever ordered food that looked good, but it didn’t taste as good as it looked? Have you ever bought a book based on the cover only to find out the book was nothing like what the cover portrayed? I think everyone has been fooled by appearances at some point in their lives. That is why God is more concerned with our soul, what is coming from our hearts, than he is about how we look.
Society is impressed by a busy schedule. I had a boss or two who were more concerned that employees looked busy than they were by the actual outcome of the work. So, even though all of the work assigned to me was done quickly and efficiently, they seemed to think I was lazy if I wasn’t constantly busy. Productivity seemed to have no bearing on the situation.
As Christians, we are meant to produce fruit through our connection to the vine, Jesus Christ. In John 15 it says he is the vine and we are the branches. If we have a solid connection to the vine, it does all of the work to produce the fruit, such as the fruit of the Spirit. God, the husbandman, works with the vine to produce fruit, so if the branches get trapped in the dirt and mud, He will pick it up, clean it off, and bring it back out into the sunlight. He will also prune the branches when they produce too many flowers or greenery and limited fruit because His goal is fruit production, and flowers block the branches from receiving the vital nutrients they need from the sun.
You see sometimes we get so caught up in being busy for God that we do everything except produce fruit. Flowers and greenery may be pretty and look good to the world, but God isn’t interested in appearances. He is interested in producing fruit. He will cut back the greenery and flowers until He gets the vine back into the sun and back into its real purpose of producing fruit.
Take a moment to take stock of what you are producing. Are you producing flowers or fruit? Are you doing what the world thinks you should, or are you doing what God says you should? Flowers look good, but the fruit that comes from God sustains life. Which one are you: fruit or flower?