Bradford pear trees make horrible Christ followers

Bradford pear trees make horrible Christ followers.


I love Bradford pear trees, don’t get me wrong.  They’re beautiful.

But they smell like #@&*&#%$.

[*grimace* Sorry, that’s the first time I’ve cussed on here.  Forgive me.]

Have you ever put your nose to one of their blossoms?  Don’t do it!!!  If you do, you might come away gagging.  Seriously.  They’re horrible.  Gorgeous, but absolutely the stinky stank of stink.

Here’s why Bradford pear trees would make horrible Christ followers.  {Before I begin, trees can’t follow Jesus.  I understand this.  I’m working out a metaphor here, so back off.}  There are two main reasons that sparked in my head today as I admired their beauty on my various drives around town.

First, while stunning when in bloom, these trees give off a rank odor.  It’s so deceiving!  Flowers aren’t supposed to be that way, right?  A good smell should follow good looks.

Christ followers are supposed to live beautiful lives of grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love.  What happens a lot of times, instead, is that people who claim to follow Jesus act as petty, unforgiving, ruthless, and small as the staunchest jerk.  When we live like that, we stink to everyone.

2 Corinthians 2:14-16 – “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.  For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.  To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?”

Second, Bradford pear trees are notoriously poor at standing up under pressure.  They crack and lose limbs because the lightest amounts of ice or snow can destroy them.  Other tree limbs are able to bear the weight of that stuff.  But not Bradford pear trees.

Christ followers are supposed to gather strength from our rock.  But how many times, when I’m having a “bad” day, do I all but give up?  It doesn’t seem to take much for some of us to go from being strong in Christ to being wimpy in Christ.  (And I’m not talking about letting God be our strength, either.  I’m talking about checking out on our relationship with God and essentially dumping our faith while the going gets rough.)

Do you resonate with this at all?

Over the next couple of weeks, enjoy these trees for what they’re able to give us!  But please, for the sake of the Kingdom and drawing others towards Jesus, don’t be like a Bradford pear tree.  Be a better tree than that.

Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed are those who do not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but who delight in the law of the LORD and meditate on his law day and night.  They are like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.  Not so the wicked!  They are like chaff that the wind blows away.”


About Brian Swanson

Christ follower. Screw up. Stained with grace. Ruined by Jesus.
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