The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives.
— Proverbs 11:30
The Giving Tree, a book by Shel Silverstein, tells a story of a boy who routinely comes back to his childhood tree with all of his problems. Each time he comes back, the tree finds a way to give more of itself so that it can help. By the end of the story there is only a stump left—and even then the tree offers to gives more of itself. In this story, it is clear that the tree is bearing the “fruit” of generosity, insight, wisdom, humility, and self-giving love.
In Matthew 7:16-20, Jesus teaches his disciples that you can tell a tree by its fruit. A good tree bears good fruit, he says, and a bad tree bears bad fruit.
Like the tree in Silverstein’s story, we can become sources of life for others when we bear the fruit of righteousness. When we are in right relationship with God through his Holy Spirit, we are deeply rooted and connected to the source of life, and we bear the fruit that reflects that life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
When we bear this fruit, we possess a wisdom that is able to save the lives of others. We become a resource in which people find life, because through us they find Jesus.
Faithful Father, help me to bear the fruit of righteousness. Grant me more of your Spirit so that I might show others the kind of fruit that points to you. Amen.