So then you will know them by their fruit.

Diving into the context of this verse, we can easily make a couple of assumptions:

  1. Fruit is the byproduct of the tree. Essentially, what the tree does is produce fruit.
  2. It is impossible to separate the quality of the fruit from the quality of the tree/vine.

If we were to go all the way back to the creation story, we read in Genesis 1:12 that God created trees “each producing its own kind of seed-bearing fruit, and God saw that it was good.” The purpose of the tree was not just to produce fruit, but rather seed-producing fruit. Its purpose (why it was created) reached beyond simply the visible fruit (what it produced). It was created to produce fruit that produced seed, that would produce seed-producing fruit… The WHY was greater than the WHAT.

What we accomplish
For those of us in the marketplace, we are most often known by what we accomplish or produce in this life. It’s true that what we do is important. It’s also true that what we do may garner a lot of attention. However, it’s why we do it that ultimately matters.

What happens, then, if your what changes? For so many of us, our what (we do) not only can shift, but it can change dramatically over the years. When one of those transitions occurs, does that mean that our why (our purpose) also changes? Have you considered that God has established you as a leader whose real purpose extends far beyond what you do each day?

Endless impact
God has appointed marketplace leaders to not only produce something of value to the world, but specifically, something of seed-bearing value. Regardless of what it is we do each day as Kingdom leaders to provide value in the marketplace, our why could have endless impact! Have you asked the Lord to reveal to you why He has placed you in the marketplace? Does the organization you lead have a purpose statement that extends beyond what it is you do?

Think and pray
As you wrestle with these questions, share these questions with other leaders you know. It is very likely that you’ll discover the answers to them as you journey alongside others who are walking in the same direction!

Lord, let my primary motivation be to bring You glory and to help others know and follow You. Help me place every other activity in my life in its rightful place behind that goal. For the name, and in the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Casey is the Employee Support Director for Betenbough Companies, a graduate of the National Institute of Christian Leadership and is a Certified Human Behavior Consultant®.