Recently, I was looking back through my notes and saw this quote: “Do not cut down trees that produce good fruit.” I honestly have no idea where it came from. I know Jesus talked about cutting down trees that do not bear good fruit, but I don’t think He ever came out and said the opposite. Of course this makes sense, though. If a person, a ministry, or any other type of program is doing Godly work and serving His people, let it be. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But what does that mean for my day to day life? Why in the world would I write that quote down?
I recently read through “The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence. If you have not read this book, you are missing out. Brother Lawrence served as a monk during the 1600’s and constantly wrote and talked about how he tried to continuously be in God’s presence. He believed that, no matter what he was doing, if it would stay focused on God, giving thanks and praise with every breath, that he would always be able to feel God with him and to feel His love and guidance.
It was while reading this book that “do not cut down trees that produce good fruit” finally made sense to me. As Brother Lawrence talked about how to practice being in God’s presence, he made the comment that the task you are working on is relatively meaningless. It doesn’t matter whether you are teaching children, working construction, or raising money for charity, the important part is that you are not doing it selfishly but only for the glory of God. That is the kind of tree that produces good fruit. The type of fruit is much less important than the One for which it is bring grown.
If you write, write for God. If you are a student, let others see your devotion to God in your study habits. If you are building a sky scraper, praise Him continuously for the work He is doing through you. And if you see somebody else doing their absolute best for their Heavenly Father, do all you can to encourage them and help them in their work. Do not cut down trees that produce good fruit.