Have you ever walked past somebody and you cast a second glance? What attracted your attention to that person? Their clothes? persona? scent? were you attracted to this person in a good way or in a curious kind of way? Have you ever received a compliment on how attractive you look? how did you feel at that compliment? People are naturally attracted to what seems pleasant to their taste and who seems pleasant to their eyes. In the same vain, are people attracted to you as a Christian?
I know a couple of young ladies whose smiles always attract people to them. Are your Christian characters attractive? Do they draw people to you in a manner that shares Christ? You as a Christian must be attractive. Your light must so shine, it attracts the world (Mathew 15:16). Your fruits must distinguish you from the world (Romans 12:2). For though you are in the world, you are not of this world (John 17). So are you an attractive Christian? Are your values and Christian morals attractive to both Christians and non-Christians? You are the light of the world but is your light attractive?
I walked passed a tall fruitful yet dry tree last week. It immediately attracted my attention. A question came to mind as I cast a glance; what kind of a tree is this with leaves and fruits fully developed yet it is all dry? I cast a second glance at the fruits to see if I would recognize it but I did not recognise the fruits yet they seemed edible in their dry state. I also wondered why is such a well-rooted tree standing tall in the middle of nowhere.
As I pondered on this, a scripture came to mind:
And seeing in the distance a fig tree [covered] with leaves, He went to see if He could find any [fruit] on it [for in the fig tree the fruit appears at the same time as the leaves]. But when He came up to it, He found nothing but leaves, for the fig season had not yet come. In the morning, when they were passing along, they noticed that the fig tree was withered [completely] away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to Him, Master, look! The fig tree, which you doomed, has withered away! Now learn a lesson from the fig tree: as soon as its branch becomes tender and it puts forth its leaves, you recognize and know that summer is near. Mark 11:12-29
The fig tree was not fruitful at the right time and Jesus placed a curse on it because He could not find any fruit on the tree. I pondered, but what about this tree? It was full of fruits, well rooted and standing tall. It’s leaves and fruits were full except that they were brown in colour, they also appeared dry and brittle making its appearance unattractive yet the fruits still seemed edible.
This tree revealed three things and taught me a lesson:
- It was fully loaded but not attractive to people.
- It was planted in the wrong environment.
- The tree and its fruits were not recognizable.
As I pondered on this, I realised different categories of Christians are exactly like this tree.
Some Christians are fully loaded with gifts and abilities yet they are not putting it to best use. They follow Christ in their heart but not with their actions (Matthew 15:8, Isaiah 29:13). They are standing tall, full of energy, well rooted in Christ but they are hiding away at the back of the church. They refuse to serve in the church for one reason or the other. In their communities and environments, they hide Christ within them.
Christ is the light of the world and so are you (John 8:12, Matthew 5:14). You should not be hiding your gifts and abilities. Christ in you should not be hidden. Has anybody ever lit a lamp and hide it under the basket? (Matthew 5:15). You are no longer in darkness. You are in the light and you have become the light of the world. If you are one of this category of Christians, you need to shake off the clouds and remove the veil, and let your light so shine for the world to see (Matthew 5:16). Apostle Paul admonished the church to serve the body of Christ with the gifts of God in you (1 Corinthians 12:7-11)
Some Christians are planted in the wrong environment, church, workplace and community. No matter what you do, people will not recognise your good works. The right people will walk past you and the wrong people will be attracted to you. If you fall into that category of Christians, you need to relocate and reposition yourself. It is possible for somebody to be well planted in a place yet unrecognisable in that place. You may not want the recognition but nobody wants to work without getting any compliment in return or without been recognised for a job well done. So ask the Lord what you need to do and where you need to go, and obey God’s instruction.
Some Christians have lost the plot of Christianity. Yes, they have confessed Jesus as their Lord and savior but they have nothing to show for it. Their image is not conformed to the image of Christ neither are the fruits they exhibit pointing at Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith. Christians must conform to the image of Christ because this is what sanctifies and justifies you in Christ (Romans 8:29). You must exhibit the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) because people will only know you by your fruits (Matthew 7:16). Should your character not reflect Christ-likeness, people will question your faith and this is not acceptable in the kingdom.
Should you find yourself under the world’s scrutiny because of your behavior, you need to check yourself. Go back to the drawing board. Repent of your sins. Pray to be conformed to the image of Christ. And ask God for the infilling of the Holy Spirit to help and enable you to exhibit the fruits of the Holy Spirit for by these shall the world know that you are truly a follower of Christ.
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