To my surprise, after their brief walk over the land behind our house, the three of them returned with their hands filled. As I stood there looking surprised, thinking they were only going for a quick walk with grandma, the kids were excited about their new found treasure. And my mom was proud to be the pioneer of this unpredicted treasure hunt.
The kids begin to share with me how grandma noticed the tree from afar off. As they got closer, she immediately knew what type of tree it was and did a speedy inspection. There are no spots or holes on the leaves or the fruit, no white coating or branch dieback, no yellowing or browning of the foliage. Mom’s findings were confirmed.
Mom had come to a measured decision, a sensible conclusion – a common sense observation – based on the factual findings of the tree. This was not just a see then say. It was after an actual assessment, then a judgment was made; the tree was good and the apples were able to be eaten.
It is a sensible conclusion to see an apple tree and expect it to bare apples.
Usually, when we think of judgment, we think of a trial or jury; us grudgingly standing before our peers, waiting for a verdict. Often believing our actions are being weighed on top a conclusion that is based on the opinion of the observer. We so easily tie judgment to our person, and all the while, missing obvious judgments to things that are straightforward and real-world, every day.
We all are one and the same to the apple tree. As we go about our everyday lives our actions will be noticed from a far and the words we speak will be evaluated. As others come close, they will quickly consider what type of ‘tree’ we are and they too will do a speedy inspection to determine the condition of that which we bare. We all would find it strange to see an apple tree baring kiwi. Even Jesus the Messiah expected the fig tree to bare figs. “ And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves… ”,
It is unrealistic to exclaim to others, “Don’t Judge Me!” We openly ask those who encounter us to not weigh our actions/words/behaviors. We often attempt to thwart their common sense observation based on their findings. But, if we have proclaimed to be an ‘apple tree’, those observing us will undoubtedly expect to see apples.
“Do not make a determination of anyone according to mere appearance, not by their titles, the notoriety they make in the world, or their pretentious show; but make a sure judgment based on the gifts and graces of God’s Spirit displayed through their conscious, conduct and their character.” John 7:24
Thought to Ponder
What do others conclude when they make sensible observations – based on the factual findings of your “tree”?