LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION
Before becoming a mom I worked as a prosecuting attorney. We started off with only two prosecutors, but as crime and the population grew, we began hiring more lawyers. I remember the worst hire we ever had was someone who came with glowing letters of recommendation. His interview went fairly well – nothing particularly set apart from the other candidates – but reviews from his previous employer were so stellar that that greatly contributed to why I recommended we hire him.
By the end of his first day at work, it was clear that the recommendation did not line up with his work performance. His fruit revealed the truth. To this day, my thought is that his previous employer lied in his letter of recommendation to get rid of that employee. But one cannot hide one’s fruit.
“Do we begin to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you? You are our epistle written in our hearts, own and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tables of flesh, that is, of the heart.” 2 Corinthians 3:1-3
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Paul was addressing the false teachers that had entered the Corinthian Church. Only a few years after Paul had completed his ministry in Corinth, false teachers arose within the church and led some people to practicing sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 5:1-13, 6:12-20), improper practice during church service (1 Corinthians 7:1-14:40), and denying the resurrection of the dead (1 Corinthians 15:12-19).
Interestingly enough, all of these false teachers came with stellar letters of recommendation (2 Corinthians 3:1). Such letters were sometimes used to authenticate someone during the growth of the 1st Century Churches (1 Corinthians 16:3). These false teachers obviously possessed such letters, and were accusing Paul of not having the same. Paul’s response was that he had something even better – living letters of Christ, written by the Holy Spirit, upon the hearts of all Believers. In other words, the changed lives of the people in Corinth served as an open letter that could be read by all men to prove the truth of the Gospel message.
The reality is that nothing speaks more volume than a transformed life. The spiritual transformation of the truly regenerated Corinthians was endorsement enough for Paul – he didn’t need a letter of recommendation. So the question all professing Christians must ask themselves is: what type of endorsement does my life portray?
Every tree is known by its fruit (Luke 6:43-45), and we cannot hide what our fruit displays. The “Christian” who still gratifies his flesh and walks in anger, pride, selfishness, jealousies, fornication, drunkenness, immodesty, and the like (Galatians 2:5:19-21) is endorsing a love of the world, and is simply not a true follower of Christ Jesus (John 14:15). Instead, a true disciple of the Lord walks worthy of the calling with which he has been called (Ephesians 4:1). The Christian is called to holiness. The Christian is called to righteousness. The Christian is called to live set apart from the world and unto the teachings of the Bible. Are you walking worthy if this call? Let your fruit speak for you, and let your fruit display that you have been changed.