As a ranch wife, one of the most treasured joys for me in the summer is walking barefoot about our yard and lane. However, if I want to be able to walk barefoot, I must control certain elements that make walking barefoot painful or even impossible. I must control the annual outbreak of sandburs.
To that end, I periodically patrol our yard, corrals, and lane with a container of sandbur spray to eliminate the encroachers.
The problem with spraying is that I want to ONLY spray the sandburs and not kill every green thing in sight. And those sandburs are clever chameleons. The sandburs will intertwine and grow right next to the plants that I want to encourage to grow. Happy little foxtail or witchgrass sprouts will share a root space with the insidious sandburs. During the early growth period, I am absolutely unable to distinguish between the plants that I want to preserve and those that I need to eliminate.
So, I wait for all of the plants to “produce their fruit” or head out, and then I selectively spray the newly identified sandburs.
This year, as I trudged up and down our lane with sprayer in hand, I thought about people I have encountered throughout my life who identify themselves as of the Christian faith and yet, act and behave in a manner decidedly unChrist like. People who fooled me and hurt those that I love, …people who deliberately chose to cause pain and wreak havoc. I pondered the notion of how, much like the sandburs, these chameleon Christians insinuate and entertwine themselves into people’s lives, serving not Christ, but the other one…their actions producing annual bumper crops of pain.
How does one differeniate between the truly devout from the chameleon Christian?
Wait and Watch.
Wait for their fruit. By their fruit will you know them. Matthew 7:16
Unlike God, who gives each one of us chance after chance after chance to return to a right way of thinking and acting and offers the most precious gift of forgiveness, I am implacable and, with sprayer in hand, once I see their fruit, I consign the sandburs in my yard to oblivion.