The real fruits


You are what you eat.

Always grates on me whenever anyone promotes that. It comes across as “the solution” – yet always makes it just one: I eat healthy therefore I am!

And the words always attached (and usually unspoken): You could be as gorgeous as me you slob … if only you put down that unhealthy diet … took up my sacrificial abstinence … put down your lazy eating. You could be as gorgeous as me if only …

Personal preference can be a very self-focused way of living. Because the unspoken words are usually the opposite of those spoken: I am your judge and jury – I look fab and you don’t.

Just where is “healthy” in that diet?

When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.” And he said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 8:5-11

You are what you choose – or choose not – to ask.

This very senior figure in this very occupying power knows: Jesus has the power. We know that he knows by what he asks. This centurion has compassion. Jesus knows that by what he asks (and doesn’t ask). This centurion is “healthy”. We know that and so does Jesus. We know by what he says and what he asks. What he doesn’t say and doesn’t ask. And those words result in action. The centurion comes to Jesus. The centurion acts. Publicly.

And I read these verses and ponder a different phrase for healthy living. One I do not see quoted very often when we are talking about “my body is a temple” … all that “how to be happy and satisfied and successful and rich and wonderful and fabulous” kind of teaching.

“You are what you choose – or choose not – to ask.”

Because what I choose to ask/say, and – equally important – what I choose not to ask/say, are always the fruits of what I “take in”. Because what I take in is only a seed tray – what I take in are just seeds. And that is either fuel or resource. And yes, there is a need to choose wisely. To fuel-up wisely. To choose. That is true.

But what is also true is this:

What I put out (or don’t put out) is the harvest (or absence) of that fuelling-up – of those seeds.

“You are what you eat”?

Maybe you are what you choose – or choose not – to ask.

Perhaps those are the real fruits of “my body is a temple”

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15 thoughts on “The real fruits

  1. Ah! the centurion. I love this story. Read over it for years. I mean I heard it, understood it but did not take the seed. Trust, trusting, trusted, believe, faith, need, weak, Humble. The old boy had it all. Just what Jesus wanted from him. Just be. jesus will do the rest. He causes a great work in is when we surrender to him. We have nothing of our own. Yet Jesus loves and get this delights in us. Makes me laugh. God is absolutely awesome. What a friend we have in Jesus.

    Wisdom and clarity, strength and joy to you bro.

  2. Timely post. Had a deep conversation with my middle son who is away from home for the first time–a freshman in college. Hubby and I encouraged him not to be afraid of the questions. As Christians we tend to think certain questions taboo. We also encouraged him to ask God to help and then to REST in the truth that God is acting on his behalf, making him the man God has planned.

    One of the things we talked about is the chapter on the vine. What does a fruit do to grow? Basically nothing but hang there, attached to the nourishment of the branch/vine/etc.

  3. Funny…I’ve never thought much about the phrase “you are what you eat”.Those seeds we take in still need fertile ground and some Living Water to grow. And we must digest it, too…Your posts always cause me to think a little deeper…thank you 😊

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