‘No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.
I don’t know – but this all seems to be a bit ‘black and white’ for me. It’s as though there’s something of a binary position here and surely that can’t be right? It seems too simplistic for me. I mean, can a good person not do bad things? Can a bad person not do good things? Can you not do the right thing but for the wrong reasons? Or vice versa?
And where does this passage leave me? A human being with faults and failings but, also I like to think, some good points too. I’ve done wrong things – does that mean I’m all bad? What about the good things I’ve done? There’s a lot of talk about companies being ‘carbon neutral’ – they’ll plant trees to offset some of the environmental damage their operations have caused or something similar.
To be honest; that’s the best I can hope for. To be ‘neutral’ with the good counterbalancing the bad. If I can tip the scales on the side of ‘good’ then so much the better.
Just try not to catch me on a off-day, eh?
I’m going to make mistakes. So forgive me when they happen. My life can’t be black and white, help me to be a lighter shade of grey. Amen
Leo Roberts is the Children and Youth Development Officer for the North Western Synod
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