By Kay Clark
“Ye shall know them by their fruits” is an often-quoted partial verse from the Bible in James, Chapter 7:16. The end of the passage in verse 20 also ends the same way, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” It is a measure by which humanity is judged as worthy or rotten to the core. The word ‘them’ appears also to be misapplied as referring to someone other than self. An outward examination of a person’s worth. Somehow this has been taken as license to expound upon and gather consensus on someone’s viability in this thing called life. It’s all or nothing. Unfortunately, it’s the middle of the process from seed to fruit that does not get as much attention.
According to the Penn State Extension website, you cannot get a fruit tree from a seed. The plant is a hybrid of the parent; meaning that it is a product of male pollination and a female plant that produced the fruit. Why does that sound familiar? I digress. Plants that come from just seed will look the same as the plant. However, the fruit will not have the same characteristics, appearance, or taste. To get the best fruit, it is necessary to propagate fruit that one would enjoy by using the grafting method. Grafting is joining two desirable plants together by cutting slits into each one and sliding one piece into the other and taping them until they become one.
As all of nature (including mankind) is a God process, let’s turn to the mirror and examine ourselves to determine if we produce fruit that is good for food. Are we the product of one seed having limited characteristics, but do not present well? I noted that the website did not say the fruit was not viable. It said the fruit was different. How many times do we dismiss others (or have been dismissed) based solely on outward appearances? No further examination. Perhaps, we may find we like the different flavor. The quirkiness of personality may bring a breath of fresh air, breaking the clone stagnation. Standing out in the crowd if you will. Not everyone comes from the proverbial two-parent-exceptional-perfectly-balanced-beginnings. It should cause a pause when we observe individuals who are born undesirable by man’s standard, yet they go on to do miraculous things; contributing to life when no one thought they could. I’ll bet Jesus would have a thing or two to say about that.
Consider one of the processes a seed-to-plant-to-fruit has to work with. Some go through the cold and have to maintain a constant temperature all the while making sure not to mix with other fruits that release ethylene gas. The site calls them climacteric. In other words, the seed/plant has to avoid anything that can impact a critical, key, decisive, influential or significant event. Not to get too technical, ethylene impacts when a seed/plant comes out of dormancy. While useful, it may interrupt the timing of life causing unforeseen consequences. What happens when seed/plant is pushed into producing fruit before its time? Mankind is no less vulnerable. Ecclesiastes 3:1 state that to everything there is a time and a season (paraphrase mine).
It appears to be human nature to gravitate to negative observations when judging human fruit. To counter that, I challenge each of us to consider what the seed/plant has to work with. Are parents on one accord with the child (seed)? Or are they ignoring optimal conditions based on the child’s natural attractions to get figs from thistles? Thistles have purpose too. In Matthew 7:18, it speaks of “a good tree cannot bring forth evil (backwards to live), evil fruit or a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” Verse 19 says, “every tree that brings about corrupt fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Stop right here if you have ever been thrown into the fire because someone thought your fruit was corrupt without ever having tasted it; judged to be rotten to the core without redemption. Not even useful for animal feed. Or worse, the events of your life to date are producing corruptible fruit because of evil exposure unbeknownst to you.
What fruit does this self-examination bring forth? The good news is that if good fruit is the goal, then two things should occur. One, if life’s circumstance causes you to be seen differently, and you are producing that which is good for food, then celebrate your differences. Know that you are necessary to the diverse and rich fabric of life. Two, if you are the product of a good and attentive environment, do not take it for granted. The purpose of life, as I see it, is to push man forward for the greater good. It is our responsibility no matter where we find ourselves to propagate good seed to bring about healthy plants that continue to produce good fruit.
The King James Bible. (2001). Zondervan.
CRASSWELLER, PH.D., R. (2021, March 2). Growing Fruit Plants from Seed. PENN STATE EXTENSION. Retrieved December 12, 2021, from https://extension.psu.edu/growing-fruit-plants-from-seed