Fruit Tree or Christmas Tree?

I received an email asking to help take down Christmas decorations at church this coming Sunday afternoon. I find this portion of the season the most difficult. I understand that many are not like me who would leave Christmas décor up most of the year (if my family would allow it).


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also understand that Christmas is about more than the decorations. It is about who I am because of Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection. But I’m not near ready to remove the symbols of Christmas. They bring me joy and happiness. Peace and tranquility. Calm and serenity.


I found an interesting quote about a Christmas tree and our Christian walk that I want to share with you. “The Christian should resemble a fruit tree, not a Christmas tree! For the gaudy decorations of a Christmas tree are only tied on, wheras fruit grows on a fruit tree.”[i]


What I love about this statement is the truth it holds. In our Christian lives, fake fruit will always be found out. A close representation of God’s characteristics will never pass as the real thing. And yet another reason to dislike fake fruit.


From Romans 12 to see how we are to live a genuine, Christ-like life. A life where the fruit is real, not tied on.


Live sacrificially – Romans 12:1

Live humbly – Romans 12:3, 16

Live in unity – Romans 12:4-5

Live as gifted – Romans 12:6-8

Live lovingly – Romans 12:9-10

Live zealously – Romans 12:11

Live joyfully in hope – Romans 12:12

Live patiently in affliction – Romans 12:12

Live faithfully in prayer – Romans 12:12

Live generously – Romans 12:13

Live hospitably – Romans 12:13

Live harmoniously – Romans 12:16

Live fairly – Romans 12:17

Live peaceably – Romans 12:18

Live well – Romans 12:23


Now that is quite a list! As we fill our hearts with these words, we’re able to see how to live lives that are not fake. But we also know that without the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, living this way would be improbable. No, impossible.


As we allow God’s Spirit to produce good fruit in our lives, the guidelines in Romans 12 become doable. Our desire to live in such a way grows within us. It becomes imperative that our lives are no longer considered fake, but genuine.


There is another verse in this chapter that will help us as well. Romans 12:2 (NIV) says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what god’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”


You see, if we live as the world lives and think as the world thinks, we will be fake. The evil one, the great deceiver, is the ruler of this world. There can be nothing genuine where he reigns. Think of his followers as those who have gaudy ornaments tied to their branches.


But when we are transformed into what God wants us to be, we are able to be genuine. We are genuine because our God is genuine. Then when we are transformed, our minds will be renewed. Renewed for genuineness.


I know eventually my Christmas décor will need to be removed. But this year, as I remove the few ornaments on my trees, I will think about how my life is to be. Genuine. Not fake. Not a life where gaudy ornaments are tied on my branches. I am to live my life as a fruit tree. With real growth and real fruit.


What’s happening with your fruit?


Grace and peace be yours in abundance,



[i] Quote by John R. W. Stott

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