While Jeremy is gone to camp, I have been watering his garden. He has been gone almost 2 weeks (he comes back on Thursday!! Yah!!) so I have noticed a lot of changes, particularly in the tomato plants.
He has two rows of tomato plants and not one of them looks the same. The interesting thing is, one plant has grown to 2 or 3 times the size of the other plants. It is green beyond belief, looks wonderful and healthy, has blooms that come up everywhere, but there is not one tomato growing on that plant. There is another plant that is about one fourth of the size of that plant, it is green, but only a light green, in fact about half the plant is really a tan color. But this tomato plant has 3 tomatoes on it! And the tomatoes are all growing bigger and bigger every day!
As I have watched those plants, it has gotten me to thinking, are "our looks" deceiving? How do we look when people from the world look at us. Do we look like that tomato plant that appears to be flourishing and growing beyond belief? When really on the inside nothing is happening. There is no fruit actually being produced. We aren't really living the life God called us to live. Or are we like the tomato plant who at first glance, looks pretty rough around the edges. But if you take a closer look, you can see the beautiful fruit growing under the rough and worn edges.
Even though plants may not all produce fruit, we as God's children produce some type of fruit. Is the fruit we produce something beautiful and sweet that draws others toward Christ or is the fruit we produce something bitter and sour that turns people away from God.
What do people see when they look at us? Do they see someone who looks really great and beautiful on the outside, but at closer look really has no substance or nothing to offer. Or do they maybe see someone who looks a little rough around the edges and a little worn, but upon closer examination, they see something beautiful and wonderful growing. Something that looks like Christ and something that causes people to take that extra look at us.
I know that no one is perfect. Only God is perfect. So why are we so worried about what we physically look like. No matter how rough and worn we look, as long as we look and smell like Jesus, nothing else really matters. Because if we look and smell like Jesus we will produce fruit, the fruit of the Spirit...love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And there is no sweeter fruit than that!