A Jewish couple was arguing over the name to give their firstborn. They finally asked the rabbi to come and intercede.
“What’s the problem?” The rabbi asked.
The wife spoke first. “My husband wants to name the boy after his father, and I want to name the boy after my father.”
“What is your father’s name?” the rabbi asked the man.
“Joseph,” was his reply.
“And what is your father’s name?” the rabbi asked the woman.
“Joseph,” was her reply.
The rabbi was stunned. “So, what is the problem?”
It was the wife who spoke again. “His father was a horse thief, and mine was a righteous man. How can I know my son is named after my father and not his?”
The rabbi thought and then replied, “Call the boy ‘Joseph.’ Then see if he is a horse thief or a righteous man. You will know which father’s name he wears by the way he lives his life.”
To call yourself a child of God is one thing. To be called a child of God by those who watch your life is another thing altogether. You are known by the fruit you produce. Jesus said, “…everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). You and I are known as followers of Jesus by the way we live in relationship to those around us. You will be known by the fruit you produce.
Paul wrote, “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…There is no law against such things…If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23, 25). Your inner life will be revealed in and through your relationships, by the way you live with your spouse, children, and family members. The fruit of your living will always show up in your interactions with your neighbors, friends, and colleagues. It is the presence of God’s Spirit that will make the difference with strangers at the grocery store, with persons with whom you work, with persons who hurt you, and with persons who make you angry. As Christians we are known by the fruit we produce.
Let this prayer by Howard Thurman guide you:
“Teach us, Our Father, that if we nourish within our minds and spirits those things that work against life, we shall spend our years stumbling in the darkness; that if we nourish within our minds, and spirits those things that make for life, for wholeness, for truth, for love, we shall become like Thee. To become like Thee, O God, our Father, is the be-all and end-all of our desiring.”
You will be known by the fruit you produce. The world will know your which father’s name you wear by the way you live your life.
With that in mind, may you always be as blessed as you are a blessing!