People who want to be leaders must have character in their dealings with others. They must keep their word. They must be people of integrity. In Matthew 21:18-19, we read about an incident in the life of Jesus:
In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, "May no fruit ever come from you again!" And the fig tree withered at once.
I used to feel sorry for that fig tree. I didn't understand this story at all. I thought, "It wasn't the fig tree's fault that it didn't have any figs on it. Why did Jesus curse it?"
Some time later, God showed me the reason. As this verse in The Amplified Bible (Classic Edition) notes, on a fig tree the fruit appears at the same time as the leaves. So, when Jesus from a distance saw the fig tree with leaves on it, He went to it expecting to find fruit on it. When there was none on it, He cursed it. Why? Because it was a phony; it had leaves but no fruit.
In the body of Christ, we must be very careful that we don't have just leaves and no fruit. We are not going to win the world with only a bumper sticker on our car, a Jesus pin on our lapel, a big Bible and a bunch of Christian teachings. We must have fruit because Jesus has said that it is by our fruit that we will be known.
Prayer Starter: Father, help me to represent You well and show others more than just “leaves.” Help me to go deeper in my relationship with You so I can bear fruit and be a representative of Your love, character, integrity, compassion and goodness everywhere I go. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.