John the Baptist calls on people to repent and “bear fruits worthy of repentance,” he goes on to say those trees that don’t bear fruit should be cut down and thrown into the fire. John in clearly referring to the whole person, but as part of preparing ourselves to repent we need to examine ourselves by asking what about our life bears fruit and what does not.
Place a piece of paper horizontally and draw a tree with leaves on one side and a roaring bonfire on the other. Now think about your life.
Come up with a few things you do that have good results. Do you have a spiritual practice that feeds you? You can keep it in mind as you draw a fruit onto your tree or write it onto a piece of fruit-shaped construction paper you glue onto the tree.
Now what are some things you do that don’t bear fruit? Just like with the fruit, you’re going to create a branch for the fire. But you’re also going to figure out something you can do to replace it that will bear fruit. Be creative. Do you watch a lot of TV? If you can’t completely give it up, can you (learn to) knit or crochet or quilt or weave and make prayer shawls while you listen to TV? Maybe you give up one night of TV to make meals for a feeding ministry.
Just remember, the fruit you choose to bear must feed you and someone else.