“My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples.”
The Parable of The Zucchini
If you’ve ever had a backyard garden or known someone who does, you’ll be familiar with the infamy of the zucchini plant. Some years, you get a paltry few squash before bugs or disease halt production. But those other years…
Your produce drawers and kitchen counters overflow with zucchini. You harvest the plant every day only to discover 10 more zukes lurking beneath the gigantic leaves the next morning. Your neighbors park in their garage in an effort to dodge your hopeful baskets full of them, and even your dreams are filled with zucchini the size of children popping up beneath your feet as you walk.
What Does Your Fruit Say?
In both scenarios, the abundance or lack of squash serves as a signpost for certain truths. First, the health of the plant itself is evident by the quantity of fruit. Secondly, the harvest of zucchini also proves that what you planted in the spring was not a stalk of corn. Similarly, the proof of discipleship, whether or not we are true disciples who make disciples, is revealed by the fruits in our lives.
When our lives overflow with love, joy, peace, patience, and other aspects of spiritual fruit, it’s evident that our connection is to Jesus—and that our connection is a healthy one. But if the fruit in our lives is the more bitter variety of sexual immorality, impurity, strife, fits of anger, envy, sensuality, and so on—well, suffice to say, these are spiritual fruits from a quite different source.
Take a Look at Your Fruit
Perhaps it’s time we all took an honest look at what overflows in our actions and attitudes each day. How does your fruit reveal the proof of discipleship in your life? Even as I penned these words, our Lord pointed out a sneaky unbelief which had drained my joy. He is faithful to tenderly remind me to draw my nourishment from Him alone and not from prayers answered on my terms.
What is He saying to you?
Prayerfully examine your life, and maybe even gather boldness to ask others about the fruit they see in you. If the Lord reveals any rotten fruit, ask Him to remove it and empower you to produce the fruit that honors Him.