A tree’s fruit should reveal the quality of its root. What a man says and does should reveal the quality of his heart.
The root of a righteous act is a heart converted to God. Rooted like this, one’s heart knows God, loves him, acts with him in mind…the fruits follow the roots. Almsgiving, prayer, and fasting, for example, proclaim a clean heart given to love of God and love of neighbor. They say, “My roots are firm and deep in the Lord. I am planted beside living water.”
Displaying what looks to be the fruit of good roots without those roots…that’s what hypocrisy is. To present the world with a fruit that does not correspond to my roots is to lie to them about my relationship with God.
God doesn’t look first at fruits. He looks at the roots. He can see what is hidden. The life we are to live, then, is hidden with God. The life in our inner room, with the door closed, is a life that cannot be faked. There is no one else to see it but me and the Lord.
Much of the life of a tree is quiet, hidden, in secret. This is the part that is important, that is vital, stabilizing and nourishing the rest of the tree, enabling it to bear fruit. This happens underground, unseen by man but seen by God.
Jesus, Lord of our life, send our roots rain.
Photo by Tomas Tuma