"Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.…"
~ Matthew 7:15 - 17
I loved the driveway next to my grandparents' home in Zionsville, Indiana. My grandmother possessed one of the most amazing green thumbs of any person I have ever met. Her tulips in the spring were just amazing, and you could smell their sweetness a block away.
There would be people that would stop and view her flowers, and sometimes would even photograph them.
I remember a stranger that stopped one day to view the flowers, and my grandmother ushered my sister and I into the house,. saying, "Let's go in and check the oven."
Later my grandmother shared that we must be aware that not all people are good. It was interesting, because I believed at an early age, and even into my adult years, that there was good in all people.
Although now I realize that she must have intuitively felt like there was something wrong with the man, and that's why she took us into the house. It wouldn't be until I was working with the homeless on the street that I would encounter people who were absolutely empty.
Scripture warns us to "beware" of some people. I want to believe that all Christians have good intentions, but like my grandmother that day, sometimes I have something that causes me to question, or to struggle to believe the intentions to be good, or honest.
Does it make the person "bad?"
The balance between good and evil is something that the world has struggled with since the days of the Garden experience. It is something we definitely deal with today.
Backroom decisions, bending the rules, and finding loop holes are phrases we have all grown to understand.
Although I have no clear way to determine the intentions of every person I meet, I have however, learned to trust what God is stirring within.
Hoping that we all remain safe in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear God, help each of us to be transparent so that others may see the true intentions of our hearts, while protecting us from others who may seek to do harm. Keep us close to You always. Amen.
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.