Sunday Reflections: By Their Fruits You Shall Know Them

L-R: Prelate MCCSN and Secretary, CAN, Lagos State, Baba Aladura, Dr. Israel Akinadeowo; Bishop of Ikeja Methodist Church, Stephen Adegbite; representative of mr. femi Otedola, Mr. Philips Akinola; Treasurer, CAN, Lagos State, Bishop S.T.V. Adegbite and The Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo III, at the 60th birthday of Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins Thanksgiving Mass, at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos. Photo: AKINOLA ARIYO


Personality is basically changeless; that which changes or grows is the moral character. The major error of modern religions today is negativism, repression or just obeying the laws which is ultimately a bad fruit or no fruit at all. It is important to note that Moral worth cannot be derived from mere repression or just obeying the injunction “Thou shalt not”, but by personal conviction in the course one follows. Unfortunately, Fear and shame are now the unworthy motivations for religious living. Religion is valid only when it reveals the fatherhood of God and enhances the brotherhood of men. By this it means that loving God can only be shown by the fruits one bears on the lives of his brothers or fellow humans.

The philosophy of living effectively is formed by a combination of cosmic insight and the total of one’s emotional reactions to the social and economic environment by virtue of one’s urge. Remember that we have inherited urges and emotional urges. While inherited urges cannot be fundamentally modified, emotional responses to such urges can be changed; by this therefore, one can say that the moral nature can be modified, character can be improved. In a strong character, emotional responses are integrated and coordinated, and thus produced a unified personality. But on the leaf side, deficient unification weakens the moral nature and engenders unhappiness thereby making life fruitless.

Without a worthy goal, life becomes aimless and unprofitable, and much unhappiness results. Jesus’ discourse at the ordination of the twelve constitutes a master philosophy of life. Jesus exhorted his followers to exercise experiential faith, a dynamic faith, a moving faith, at most, a living faith that will bring about productivity in life. He admonished them (believers) not to depend on mere intellectual assent, credulity, naivety or innocence and established authority so as to stand out in building a stronger productive life because such attainment can only be possible through the spirit of the father in heaven.

As every mortal craves to be a complete person, to bear good fruits, to be perfect even as the Father in heaven is perfect, I assure you that such attainment is possible because in the last analysis the “universe is truly fatherly.”

Happy Sunday!


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