We don’t simply commit sinful actions. Those actions spring from a deep root in our hearts. The fruit on a tree doesn’t simply appear. It comes from the kind of tree that bears it. Our hearts are similar, and the metaphor of fruit is a good one to describe what goes on there. Our actions spring from something deep within us. So when we struggle with sin, it is not primarily outward actions that we are really dealing with. Sinful actions are the fruit that comes from a sinful root in our hearts.
Outside of Christ, we have no hope. Our hearts are wicked and, like those that Jesus describes in Matthew 12, will only bear bad fruit. However, those of us who have believed in Jesus have been given a new heart. That new heart can now bear new righteous fruit. The process of Christian sanctification is to continually and increasingly uproot any remaining sin in our hearts that is leading to sinful actions and allow the Lord to plant seeds in the soil of our new hearts in Christ that will grow into a harvest of righteousness.
As you look at an image of a heart tree, think of your actions as the fruit on the tree—the fruit that ultimately springs from deeper roots that lie below the surface. Each day we will progressively walk you through how to use this tree image to see the roots that are producing sinful actions and to allow the Lord to plant righteousness there instead.
Read Psalm 139:23-24. Like David, let’s ask the Lord to look at our hearts.