Fig Leaves and Mirrors

Remember when Jesus cursed the fig tree and it dried up from the roots and died? There are many lessons for us in that story, but the most significant for me personally is the stern warning to be what we confess to be. Jesus saw that the fig tree had leaves and so he knew that it would have fruit (the fruit appearing along with the leaves). If the tree had leaves, it should also have had fruit.
How often we see people who confess to be Christians, but you can't tell by looking at their lives. They have all the outward signs (Bibles, bumper stickers, church attendance, t-shirts, etc.), but no real fruit. They live their lives no different than unbelievers, all the while professing to be Christ-like! The only reason anyone would think they were saved is because they say they are!
I believe Jesus is telling us that if we are going to confess to be Christians, there had better be a change. If we are saying we are "Christ-like" but we are no different than anyone else, we are profaning his name and soiling his reputation. We were created to reflect God's glory here on Earth. We are supposed to be like mirrors that reflect perfectly the image of God. People are supposed to be able to see in us the God we profess! When we say we are Christians and then act badly, we are saying to the world that God acts that way! People tend to judge leaders by their followers! We are the only Jesus people can see!
The day is coming when professing to be a Christian won't be "cool" or "in" or even easy. The day is fast approaching when it will be a matter of life and death. When that day arrives, only those willing to give their lives for the Gospel will confess Christ Jesus. But, as for today, we had all better take heed of Jesus' story of the fig tree; if you put forth leaves, make sure you have fruit! I don't know about you, but "dried up by the roots" is not how I want to end up!

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