Have you ever bought something that appears to be a great deal, only to learn later on that it was a fraud — like a Folex watch instead of a Rolex, a Somy game controller rather than Sony, or Tammy Hilfiger jeans rather than Tommy Hilfiger.
It happens when shopping on the Internet all the time. We’ve all been “burned” from time to time by a fake product. That’s why we’re always on guard against fraud. Most of the people I know start out believing the product is a phony when they find a great price. It takes some convincing to cause them to believe they found the real deal.
Did you ever notice that we also do this spiritually? We often start out wondering if someone’s faith is real. This is a hard question to answer. How do you really measure someone with true faith or someone who is a fraud? Jesus gives us a couple of answers to that question in Luke chapter 6.
Blind following the blind
You probably have used the famous statement “this feels like the blind leading the blind.” Did you know this statement actually comes from the Bible? Luke 6:39 uses this to describe what it feels like to follow someone with false faith.
You can recognize this false faith from a distance. They are the kind of people that point out the faults of others but never see their own mistakes (Luke 6:42). Don’t forget, every time you point a finger at someone else there are three fingers pointing back at you.
Jesus says you will know a person by their fruit in Luke 6:43. When you go to the grocery store produce aisle you look for the best fruit. Sometimes it is difficult to tell if it’s a good fruit. Sometimes what looks good on the outside is really rotten on the inside. When you go to the lumber store to pick out some wood, many people look the boards over to see if they’re “good.” They look down the sides and the front of the board to determine if it has flaws or if it’s bent. This is what Jesus has in mind when he describes comparing a person to their fruit. Is the fruit of your actions bent like a warped board? Does the fruit of your actions look good on the outside but rotten on the inside like a bad apple?
Heart Check up
Here’s the bottom line…it’s always a heart issue. Your behavior always proceeds from your belief. Not the other way around. Belief doesn’t always equal behavior but behavior always equals belief. Meaning, when your heart is bad, your actions will show it (Luke 6:45). When your heart is good, your actions will show it. You can’t hide your heart’s condition.
Here’s what I recommend, do a personal heart checkup. Check your actions against those in the Bible. Where those two don’t line up, you have a heart condition. You don’t need a medical doctor to tell you you have a heart condition… the Bible can tell you that. Examine your heart this week. Pay attention to the way you treat others. Does it measure up with the teachings of the Bible?