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"Either make the tree sound (healthy and good), and its fruit sound (healthy and good) or make the tree rotten (diseased and bad) and its fruit rotten (diseased and bad); for the tree is known and recognized and judged by its fruit." The bible says that a tree is known by its fruit. The same is true in our lives. Thoughts bear fruit. Out of good thoughts, good things will come. Out of bad thoughts, bad things will come. (Stay tuned to the next post because I will go over some more of this subject.)

An eye opener for me is realizing where my thought life has been for a while. I realized that I have allowed my thoughts to be negative way for a while. I started thinking about the people around me and wondering what they truly see when they look at me and are around me. I want to be known for peace, for love, for joy, for forgiveness and grace.

I lost a chance this weekend on two different occasions to show some serious grace and love to a person that I realize how much I resented. The funny thing is I'm going over a book on forgiveness. Like anything in life you are going to have to walk out what you are learning to really master it. I saw the person and immediately I tensed up. I smiled and said hello, but I know I could have done better. I did not want this person near me. Truth be told I don't want to be that way, though.

Paul wrote this in Romans. " I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it"

In order for me to show grace I'm going to have to let down my pride and actually show it. Paul struggled with doing what he knew what he should to. He recognized that flesh can easily take hold. There is a scripture in 1 Timothy 1:7 that says "God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (self-control). Because of who lives in me, I can overcome the urge to tense up and actually show true love to this person or anyone else. The truth is that everyone is human and everyone deserves grace. My flesh says that I have every right to hold a grudge. The Spirit says I am no one's judge though. God is my defender. My vindicator. He is the one that takes care of me without me having to take on the burden of any kind of grudge. When I take on a grudge I step out of love. God is love, and he is the one that will work on my behalf in any given situation.

Unforgiveness, resentfulness, hate, and anger can all build up inside of you until no one can see the good fruit inside of you. This is called rotten fruit. No one likes a rotten apple. As much as I would hate to admit it, people have seen a rotten side of me. It has hidden who I truly am. Which is a child of God. You know something else. About a day after seeing this person I realized that I could have done way better. I told God I wanted to show grace toward this person and anyone else. I want another chance. Not just for me, but for God and the person. A person never knows what another person is going through inwardly. I want my fruit to be love and kindness. I want to see God's love work in my life and everyone else's life. No matter who the person is I want to be able to lift them up. I want to be a vessel that God can use to do this. This may be a cliché saying for you people who have grown up in church. I want God's glory to be known through every circumstance in my life. The good and the bad. How can this happen

if I harbor any type of resentment. Any type of unforgiveness. Any type of jealousy. I want to be a person that is about what I say. What I believe.

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