By my fruit, I shall know me

By their fruit, you shall know them. Mt 7:16[1]

Jesus, I always thought of this “recommendation” as referring to others…probably my habitual pension for judging others negatively and myself positively, over compensating or at least giving myself a major benefit of the doubt and a huge grain of salt…not really what You had in mind when You commanded me to love my neighbor as I love myself, I am sure. In fact, You said very specifically, Stop judging, that you may not be judged.[Mt 7:1] Indeed, it would behoove me to reverse my judgment pattern if I really took to heart Your next statement: For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.[Mt 7:2]

However, what if I were to apply this knowledge by fruit criterion to myself. I often get tied up during self-examinations with whether I actually, really intended to do that thing or did it just happen, was it an accident…does my regret and empathy belie by alleged premeditated intent… gave into this temptation or not…of course, being honest with myself, I have to use the same criterion in cases where I have used reverse, or should I say perverse, logic to convince myself that what, objectively, is good is literally “subjectively”, aka for me in this instance, evil and what is objectively evil I crave and therefore “determine” to be “subjectively” good…care for a dose of Situational Ethics, anyone? In either case, applying the fruit criterion should help clarify the validity of my judgment.

Thank you, Jesus, for turning the tables on me and showing me that as I judge my neighbor, so I should judge myself. Thank you for showing me this is simply an application of loving myself as I love my neighbor, the inverse of your commandment, its Symmetric ‘if a = b, then b = a” Property, as it were. Since, Holy Spirit, I note that I am reluctant to apply this commandment forthright or forewards due to my warped thinking that I would be loosing out on something for myself if I did what I would do for myself for my neighbor, help me to “get real” and utilize my neighbor’s viewpoint as a starting point and myself as an ending point…probably greater humility in that approach also. Amen. Alleluia!!!

[1] Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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