During a recent conversation with a friend who happens to be a mental/emotional healthcare professional, my friend stated, "Well, you know the apple doesn't fall far from the tree." I've often heard that as, "The 'nut' doesn't fall far from the tree," and I wonder if mental/emotional healthcare professionals don't undergo extensive sensitivity training to avoid using that word.
Anyway, after briefly considering the comment, I responded that, "Actually, the apple falls under the tree unless it's acted upon by an outside influence, like wind." At least that's what Sir Isaac Newton learned about gravity when he was purportedly bopped on the head by an apple while sitting under a tree. Getting bopped was an embellishment by Newton himself, indicating that scientists also can have a sense of humor, even if I don't demonstrate that very well myself. Actually, while enjoying his tea, Newton saw an apple fall straight to the ground and I suspect he was glad the wind wasn't blowing in his direction and that God's law of gravity is immutable. Think how chaotic and dangerous it would be if apples "fell" sideways unpredictably.
That's how it is in today's religious world with many "Christian" denominations presenting different gospels of salvation and many religions, including some claiming to be "Christian" teaching that there are many paths to God. Apparently some think that the foolishness of the simple gospel of one Lord, one faith, and one baptism cannot be sufficient to save so they embellish it, or set it aside altogether to draw people to God, or themselves (1 Corinthians 1:18-25; Ephesians 4:3-6; Acts 20:25-31; Mark 7:1-13). These teachings blow the world around so they don't even know which way is up or down, which can be disastrous (Mark 16:19; Ephesians 4:9-10; Luke 10:13-15; Proverbs 14:12).
Jesus is THE way and THE truth and THE life; the only means to approach God (John 14:6). God's word is immutable and needs no embellishment (1 Peter 1:23-25; John 1:1-2). Any other way is merely a lane in the broad way to destruction (Matthew 7:13-23; Galatians 1:6-9).
I mentioned apples and nuts earlier. The kind of tree one sits under determines the kind of fruit that will fall around or on them (Genesis 1:11-12). The fruit of the Spirit comes only to Spirit-filled lives and any other fruit is of the devil. When we follow the Spirit's leading, he'll remind us of the truth and help us stay on the right way to produce fruit of righteousness (Galatians 5:16-25; 3:26 to 4:7; Romans 8:9-17; John 15:1-17).
From an emotional/mental healthcare standpoint, it's good to know where we're going and not be blown here and there by anything. It's also beneficial to remember where we came from as Christians in regard to our former sinful life and that we've been forgiven, which puts us under the shade of the tree of life where we'll be recognized as Christians connected to the living vine because of the fruit we produce (2 Peter 1:3-11; Revelation 22:1-2).
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at email@example.com