A Persian king wanted to teach his four sons to make rash judgments. So he told the eldest to go in winter to see a mango tree, the next to go in spring, the third in summer, and the youngest in the fall.
After the last son had returned from his autumn visit, the king called them together to describe what they had observed. “It looks like a burnt old stump,“ said the eldest. “No,” said the second, “it is lacy green.” The third described it as “beautiful as a rose.” The youngest said, “No, its fruit is like a pear.” “Each is right,” said the king, “for each of you saw the tree in a different season.
What a lesson this fable holds for Christians! We quickly forget that our brothers and sisters in the faith are at different stages of growth and come from many different backgrounds and cultures. Conversion to Christ is just the beginning of a lifetime of replacing old thoughts, attitudes, habits, and actions with new ones created by the indwelling Holy Spirit, who continually works to change us.
We must take the time to understand people, get to know them, learn their backgrounds, and try to discern what season of spiritual development they are in.
God sees the whole picture, and He never draws hasty conclusions. Neither should we. – Dennis J. De Haan
God is the One who sees the whole,
His knowledge is complete;
We see but portions of the truth
As lines that never meet. – D. J. De Haan
It is easier to think you are right than to be right.
- July 10, 1990, Our Daily Bread