A Couple Good Grapes
I was washing a bunch of grapes and noticed some moldy ones. I removed the moldy grapes and those surrounding because mold breeds mold.
That got me thinking. These grapes were attached to their vine and were growing and flourishing. They looked healthy and grew to be large and firm and everything one could want in a grape. But the mold still snuck in and infected a few good grapes. The grapes in close proximity to the mold were also affected and began to rot.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:4
It is important to ground yourself in the knowledge of who Christ is so you understand who you are and in whose image you were created. We abide in Christ by spending time in His Word and in prayer. We produce fruits by serving in our homes and communities.
So here we are abiding in Christ, remaining on the vine, and feeling pretty good about ourselves. We are growing and our faith feels strong. We feel like nothing can hinder our commitment to Christ and His calling. But some moldy fruit enters our life. Maybe we befriend a Negative Nancy, a Gossiping Gertrude, or a Cursing Carol. These people drain our joy reservoir. We begin to see the negative aspects of life, live in comparison to others, and foul language is now in our head space- even if it doesn’t leave our lips. The attitudes of those surrounding you can affect your temperament and judgment. “Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33.
Mold is resilient. It finds moisture and latches on, grows, and multiplies quickly. Most commonly, mold takes residence after a storm when things are still damp. If we are not abiding in the Lord during a storm, then mold can sneak its way into our lives and grow to dirty our vision. As we complain about our situation, mold spores enter our open mouths. But we are to “do everything without complaining or arguing” (Philippians 2:14 NLT). When we doubt the Lord’s goodness, mold makes its way into our minds. But we are to approach the Lord “with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6). As we curse our situation and use dirty language, we reveal what is in our hearts (Luke 6:45) and open a path for mold to settle there. Our prayer should be, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
Do not let the moldy grapes of your life latch onto you. Surround yourself with people firmly attached to the Vine and who will encourage the same for you. “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25