Fresh Fruit: Seeking Jesus for His Goodness

Fresh fruit is a staple in my household. My son especially loves it! But, one thing this Mama has a hard time with is how quickly fruit rots. I buy so many varieties that by the time we have tried a bit of all, we find rotting has begun with the remainder.

Take a carton of strawberries, for example. Once one has molded, the strawberries that surround it begin to mold as well. Interestingly enough, the opposite side of the strawberry that is touching the non-moldy ones still appears in good condition.

However, it is said that once the mold has begun they are no longer safe to eat and must be thrown out. Even if half of it still appears good, the whole is not considered good to eat.

I pondered the implication of this imagery with the condition of my heart. Imagine, if my heart touches the heart of the world that’s full of sin, I, too, reflect that sin nature.

As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”- Romans 3:10-12 (NKJV) [emphasis mine]

But, if my heart touches the heart of God, then I’m healthy, full of goodness, and safe.

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.- John 15:5 (NLT) [emphasis mine]

On my own I am merely self-righteous or an appearance of good. But given time, one may see the true reflection of a heart that touches a world full of sin is no different.


However, a heart that touches the heart of God produces the fruit of ‘goodness’ by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). And what does this goodness look like? It’s definition says this: uprightness of heart and life.

Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He teaches sinners in the way.- Psalms 25:8 (NKJV)

Though, imagine it’s said that, I, too, must be thrown out if my heart has started to decay from touching a world of sin.

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.- John 15:6 (NKJV)

It’s a stark realization. But living for Christ is a wholehearted commitment. It is daily dying to self and surrendering both heart and life to His righteousness.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.- 1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

Thank God for His mercy and His grace to accept us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!- Romans 5:17 (NIV)

A life found in Christ is certainly like finding and consuming the freshest fruit. May we continually seek Him and touch hearts with His. For in Him is true goodness— uprightness of heart and life!

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.- Matthew 7:17‭-‬20 (NIV)


Good Intentions

When I look back at my childhood, I perceive myself as being a relatively good kid. I was responsible, helpful, and kind. I had exemplary grades in school. I tried my hardest to follow instilled morals and values.

However, I remember lying to others to stay out of trouble, intentionally omitted details, and wanted to keep up appearances. At a young age I often blamed my sister {so sorry!} for faults I actually did. As I got older, I would tell my parents minimal details about where I was going or who I was going to be with so as to justify my case. Even older yet, I lied to my parents as to why I was out later than my typical work hours suggested.

I had good intentions of being well behaved and doing right. But, I was ultimately acting out of disobedience. My parents were my authority and had set rules for me. Even though lying doesn’t seem all that bad, it still went against their teachings. Once I became a victim to “little white lies”, it escalated into more habitual acts of disobedience.

The whole picture of disobedience traces back to the fall of Lucifer, who I now know as Satan. Lucifer was an angel who was overcome with pride. He vowed, I will make myself like the Most High!- Isaiah 14:14. He wanted power and authority over God. (Full Reference: Isaiah 14:12-21) Hence, disobeying the Creator that brought him into being.

With this very motivation of pride and Satan’s use of lies, we see the first human, Eve, falling into his temptation.

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast.. which the Lord God had made. And he said.., “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said.., “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” Then the serpent said.., “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.- Genesis 3:1-6


Eve, and her husband, Adam, were more than just relatively good people. They were made without sin, and in the image of God (Gen. 1:27)! God, was their Authority, who made one rule, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil..” (Genesis‬ 2:16-17).

The pride that propelled Satan’s fall, and the use of his deceptive ways ultimately lured Eve into her act of disobedience. Then, the same with Adam. Their good intentions of being well and doing right was now overcome with pride. Although they had much, they were deceived into having more food, that it was more pleasant, and they would become more wise.

My habitual lies were acts of disobedience- which were motivated by my own sinful pride. Although I had much in my favor, I was deceived in thinking I needed more rewards, being more justified, and faking to meet more expectations.

I’m happy to proclaim that lying is no longer a sinful act for me. In fact, I despise it. But, now, it’s easy to understand that any sinful act I commit is ultimately motivated by pride. It’s what caused the fall of my enemy, who lures me into any act of disobedience to God.

However, there’s a fine line between overcoming or being overcome. I have the choice to obey or disobey. And by being obedient to God’s truths I am given hope and promises for overcoming pride!

  • Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly.. He who heeds the word wisely will find good..- Proverbs 16:18-20 (NKJV)

  • ..And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.- 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
  • If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.- 1 John 1:9 (NIV)

May I truly learn to despise all sinful acts and always seek to obey my Heavenly Father.

If you love Me, keep My commandments.”- John 14:15 (NKJV) 


When I was middle school aged, I had a reputation for being the good girl. There were kids from my own class trying to bully me into cursing, partying, or being promiscuous. When I did not oblige to their prompts I was labeled, “Miss Goody Two Shoes”. Indeed, I was proud of having been taught good morals, the importance in valuing myself, and striving to be set apart from the crowd.

However, given more time, this label eventually wore me down. I began to care all too much about what others thought of me. I wanted to fit in the crowd, and my lifestyle took some drastic changes. Upon entering college, those very same behaviors that I stood against became my new persona. I hid my good morals, no longer valued myself, and became a part of the crowd.

In retrospect, I can see how I explored having both the good girl and bad girl reputation. From experience, I realize the hurt that comes from either label- because I allowed it. Even though they were completely different experiences, I felt a sense of embarrassment, shame, and pride from both sides.

Since I know what this hurt feels like, how could I possibly give a label regarding someone else’s reputation? Oh, yes, I have been guilty of this. If someone’s lifestyle hasn’t resembled mine, or doesn’t align with the way I view things then I have been quick to judge. Once I begin to utter words about any individual to another person, I have created a portrayal of their reputation.

I see, now, how there are two sides to someone’s reputation. The one side that we work so hard to portray for ourselves by our lifestyle. And, the other side portrayed by someone else’s words about our lifestyle.


Jesus, knew this all too well. When he walked this earth, he spoke and lived out the gospel. Based upon his ministry, he had a good reputation:

 ..Jesus.. asked his disciples,“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”- Matthew 16:13&16

And by this same ministry, he had a bad reputation:

..he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law.– Matthew 16:21

But, he never allowed those labels to define who he was. They didn’t make or break his identity. He lived to fulfill prophecy, to please his Father, to share the gospel with the world, to be love toward all mankind- just to name a few. Therefore, it is to my benefit to never allow labels to make or break me; whether good or bad. I am to strive to live like Jesus. And, that work will truly portray who I really am- a beloved, grace-given child of the One, true God.

But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.- 1 John 2:5&6 

Yes, I want to have a good reputation. But, the labels others place on me are no longer of importance. I know who I am in Christ. And I strive to live by his morals, seek insight of how he values me, and answer to his calling that sets me apart.

Almighty Father, I ask forgiveness for those times when I have placed a label upon someone else. Help me to ‘stop passing judgment on another that I may not put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way’ of another (Romans 14:13). I also ask that You help me to forgive others who have hurt me with their labels. I pray Your blessings pour over those ‘who have cursed me’, and I pray for ‘those who have mistreated me’ that they truly be brought to Your salvation (Luke 6:28). I realize now, that I do not need the words of others, good or bad, to fulfill a sense of satisfaction in me. It is Your unfailing love that truly satisfies (Psalms 90:14). Lord, help me to ‘remain faithful to Your teachings’. For it is ‘by Your truth that I am set free’ (John 8:31&32). I praise You, Father, for Your promise and faithfulness ‘to teach, correct, and train me in righteousness’ (2 Timothy 3:16). In Jesus’ holy name I pray, Amen. 

Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.”- Proverbs 3:3-4 (NLT)