“Bear Good Fruit”
It is not enough to come from good stock, to have a good pedigree, or to have an impressive family tree; guard us, O Lord, from the presumption or the carelessness that would let us think so.
Help us rather to repent; help us to find the way that we should go by intentionally turning away from our doomed-to-fail efforts at self-determination and turning instead toward a bound-to-succeed commitment to your direction.
Then we will bear the fruit that is worthy of repentance, fruit that will bear such labels as “humble” and “grateful” and “receptive” and “trusting.” Such fruit remains fresh and survives; not so with the rotting fruit that bears such labels as “proud” and “entitled” and “self-reliant” and “self-centered.”
Help us to bear good fruit, O Lord.
“Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 3:8-10).