Excuses or Fruit?
The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside!
I’ll be killed in the public square!”
Observation – What does it say?
The lazy person always has an excuse.
Understanding – What does it mean?
Jesus once went to a fig tree looking for fruit and found none. Scripture says it wasn’t the season for figs. I'd say that's a pretty good excuse. But finding none, Jesus cursed the fig tree for it’s lack of fruit and it withered up. When I first read that story I felt upset and sided with the fig tree. “That’s not fair! It had a good excuse for not being fruitful!” But here's the moral of the story: If your Maker comes looking for fruit, you better have fruit. What’s the connection to the proverb?
We can either be lazy and make excuses or bear the fruit Jesus is looking for. We can make attempts to justify our lack of fruit Jesus commands of us - the fruit of disciples being made, the fruit of the Spirit (peace, love, joy, etc.) that comes as a result of abiding in Jesus (Gal 5:22-23 and John 15). What excuses have we made for our lack of fruit? Some common excuses I have had and that I hear others share often:
- Too busy – work/school/family stuff… I just don’t have the time.
- Unprepared - Don’t have the knowledge, experience or training necessary.
- Unqualified – I’m not perfect yet so I can’t make disciples. I have too many personal issues I need to work on first.
- Fear –What will people think of me?
Spend energy on producing fruit instead of making excuses!
God, forgive me for the areas I’m lacking in fruit. You didn’t buy the legitimate excuse of the fig tree and I know you don’t buy my excuses either. Forgive us for justifying our lack of fruit. Thank you that you want us to spend time with you and abide in you despite knowing all our imperfections. Thank you that you want to use us despite our weaknesses and shortcomings. Help us to be more fruitful. Amen.