Have you been guilty lately of making others seem useless or inferior? Have others made you feel this way? Then may this Tale of a Misfit Tree inspire and encourage you today, to see both others and yourself through Christ’s eyes!
“Seeing a tree grow somewhat irregular in a very neat orchard,” said Mr. Flavel, “I told the owner it was a pity that that tree should stand there, and that if it were mine I would root it up, and thereby reduce the orchard to an exact uniformity. He replied, that he rather regarded the fruit than the form, and that this slight inconvenience was abundantly preponderated by a more considerable advantage. ‘This tree, which you would root up, hath yielded me more fruit than many of those trees which have nothing else to recommend them but their regular situation.’ I could not,” adds Mr. Flavel, “but yield to the reason of this answer, and could wish it had been spoken so loud that all our conformity men had heard it, who would not stick to root up many hundreds of the best learners in the Lord’s orchard because they stand not in exact order with other more conformable but less beneficial trees, who destroy the fruit to preserve the form.” Such, alas, is the prejudice of our minds, that we are too prone to condemn those who do not view things exactly as we do. We lay down plans and rules for ourselves, and then blame others if they do not follow them. Too often also are we mistaken in our opinions of others, and imagine that they are only cumberers of the ground, when probably they bring forth the fruits of righteousness in greater abundance than ourselves.” — [W. Buck from The Biblical Illustrator, CC0]
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4).