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The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! This common proverb has withstood the test of time because of the truth it encapsulates. The moral of this proverb is that we have to watch the fruit of a person’s life carefully before we are taken in by their sales pitch!
When it comes to your leadership development, few things could be more important and relevant in our day! When we allow ourselves to be mentored, it is because we see something in the person that we would like to possess. We surrender some of our time and treasure to capture what that person promises to deliver.
Jesus wanted his followers to be very selective of such choices as he trains the disciples in our passage …
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Matthew 7:15-20 (NKJ)
We become like Jesus when …
o We examine the results of the lives of those to whom we desire to learn from!
Simple observations can only be made when we get close enough to our mentors. The further our distance, the more we can miss these tell-tales …
- Check the fruit of their lives … staring with their character (make sure they are not a ravenous wolf!)
- Don’t make excuses for them (good fruit comes from good trees and bad fruit comes from bad fruit – period!)
- Remember their fruit reveals their end (bad fruit trees are thrown into the fire!)
As you look at the people who are helping develop your leadership (both spiritual and in your career), consider the fruit of their lives carefully. After all, the reason we follow them is so that we can become like them!
© 2008 By Dr. Matthew Lee Smith