The Fruit of Our Deeds

“I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” Jeremiah 17:10

One effect of our culture of immediacy, where anything more than a few days into the future carries little if any meaning, is to coerce our decision making into improperly weighting things that show almost instantaneous results. Fruit, however, is born after a season of growth and ripening. God, it appears, is more concerned with the finished product, the final results, rather than any interim or immediate perceived benefit.

That is the allure of most sin. It seems to give one the immediately advantageous. “For a season” it seems to meet the needs of our current cultural imperative, it makes me happy, entertains me, or brings me enjoyment, for a season. But, after the pleasure-driven meal the waiter brings the check, the scale shows the poundage, and reality sets in. Everything costs, even if the payment appears delayed. That is why sin works, out of sight the repercussions are often out of mind.

Tim Harford, in today’s Financial Times, says in his Dear Economist column:

Many people would rather have £10 today, rather than £11 tomorrow, but ask them if they would rather have £10 on September 30 next or £11 the day after, they will sensibly choose the £11 a day later.

With that in mind, you should make every effort to lengthen your perspective, to make your decisions with a longer timeframe in mind. For Christians, that timeframe is eternity. I fear too many of us will arrive in the eternal realms and lament many, if not most of our decisions. When seen from the perspective of grown and ripened fruit, now set before the Lord of Eternity as what our tree of life produced, I believe we will lament our shortsightedness.

It is better to learn before it is too late to do something about it. As the old aphorism goes…”a word to the wise…”

May God bless your efforts today to gain an eternal perspective (a Godly view) on every choice you make. May those choices begin to reflect a growing freedom from the culture of immediacy and a nurturing of changed life, a true “all things have become new” version of you. Amen.

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