If My Life Is Fruitless, It Doesn’t Matter Who Praises Me,
and if my life is fruitful, it doesn’t matter who criticizes me.—John Bunyan
It doesn’t matter who praises us, if our lives are fruitless, and it doesn’t matter who criticizes us if our lives are fruitful. It doesn’t matter, because we should be concerned with pleasing God and living for the praises of Him.
This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She is a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for markalanwilliams.net.
I don’t like confrontation, so I try to avoid it at all costs. So, sometimes, I have disobeyed God to please others; with disastrous consequences.
While, at other times my obedience to God has resulted in the displeasure and criticism of others. Even though it’s unpleasant to have people unhappy with me, it doesn’t matter; I still have to obey the Lord. I don’t like to be criticized, but sometimes Christians need to speak out and go against the flow. When that happens, it doesn’t matter who criticizes me. What matters is that I’m obedient and fruitful in the eyes of the Lord.
It doesn’t matter who praises us, if our lives are fruitless; what matters is that we prayerfully examine why we lack spiritual fruit and that we have a strategy for spiritual growth.
Some questions we can ask ourselves are:
Quite often, the reason for lack of fruit in a Christian’s life; is because they have never been through a process of discipleship.
John 15:1-2 says: “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.” (NLT)
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” (John 15:4 NLT)
In addition, the Bible also cautions us about living for the praises of people in Matthew 6:1 which says:
“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.” (NLT)
However, the problem is that most people want to be liked and nobody enjoys rejection. But, sometimes Christians, have to take unpopular stances in order to obey God; and that will displease some people.
Acts 5:29 says, “We must obey God rather than human beings!” (NIV)
It’s better to offend people than to offend God.
God wants us to produce much fruit. Christians do this as we stay connected to Christ; just as a branch must stay connected to the vine to bear fruit.
John 15:5 says, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” (NLT)
John 15:8 says, “When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.” (NLT)
Christian’s who live Spirit filled and Biblically based lives will at some point offend those who don’t and be unfairly criticized. But it doesn’t matter, because if we are fruitful and suffer for Him, our reward will be great.
God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.” (Matthew 5:11-12 NLT)
Christians should live for the glory of God and to hear His commendation “‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.’”
Matthew 25:20-21says, “The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’ “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’” (NLT)
Whose praises are you living for?
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