Friends a little later start than normal.  Had some early chores and errands so the day sort of got eaten up.  Sorry to keep you waiting.

” … bear fruit in keeping with repentance.”

Mt 3:7

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These are the very wise words of John the Baptist which were addressed to the Pharisees and Sadducees when they appeared while he was baptizing people in the River Jordan.

Often in Scripture a simple phrase gives us a reason to ponder, to think what is Jesus or the disciple saying?  What is the import of these words?

The above words are such a phrase.

The truth of the matter is that a repentant heart gives rise not just to a change in attitude but a change in behavior.

To experience a momentary change in one’s attitude is not the goal.  Rather it is to have a change in attitude that is sustained, that then changes your behavior.

I give you a case in point.  I am from a tough neighborhood. My instinct is to fight. I am not a wall-flower.  Nor are those I know from my neighborhood.

So what am I to do with that aggressive nature?  How can I move from that as my first response?  Truth is: such a disposition keeps you charged up.

Yet, in Christ, why must I be so ready to do battle, so geared for combat?

If I profess Christ, should not my attitude change?  Would I not become more settled, more anchored in the strength and certainty of Christ?  Would my behavior not be more tranquil, exhibit the patience and love of Christ?

It seems to me that is what John the Baptist is saying.  It seems to me that when we see we have not been as Christ would be and we sense our attitude has changed – then, too, our behavior does indeed change for the better.

Shalom.

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