It’s been helpful for me to think about these verses when it comes to the people who I listen to or who influence my life and understanding. The internet and social media can feel like a fire hydrant of voices, opinions, and agendas — personally, it can be difficult to not feel inundated by all of it on a daily basis. However, this reminds me of how much all of the “inputs” I allow into my life matter. For me this can be as practical as being picky on who I follow and what kind of things I watch or listen to. While I do want to be sensitive to the voices I allow into my life, I don’t want to be focused on all of the “bad fruit” that’s out in the world — instead, I want to get to know the fruits of the Spirit and God’s word in order to have the ability to recognize “good fruit” in those I do give influence to over my life. If I’m slowly becoming a combination of what or who I listen to, watch and read, am I becoming more like Jesus and bearing good fruit?
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”