Are You A Vine-Ripened Christian or Hothouse Grown?
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
I like a good tomato.
As a child, I grew up on home-grown tomatoes (also known as vine-ripened) from Granny’s garden. Nothing compares.
We’ve all seen these beautiful, red tomatoes in the grocery store. I’ve bought them, thinking they would taste like Granny’s.
They did not. They were a huge disappointment, and I never knew why.
I mean, aren’t vine-ripened and hothouse grown the same thing? Can’t a tomato ripen on the vine outdoors or in a hothouse?
Well, not exactly. Turns out, hothouse tomatoes are bred for their bright color and durability — not taste. They can look beautiful and be tasteless.
Whereas, a home-grown tomato may not be perfectly shaped or colored but still be absolutely delicious.
As Christians, we want to be like the home-grown or vine-ripened tomatoes. These tomatoes get nutrition from the sun — not artificial light and heat lamps.
We do this by staying in a connected relationship with the son, Jesus Christ, also known as the vine. He gives us everything we need to be fruitful for Him. For instance, He will give us words to encourage others or show us our next step.
We can stay connected through prayer, fellowship with other believers and reading our Bible.
What does it look like to be a hothouse Christian?
We still look really good on the outside. We may wear a cross necklace and have all the Sunday School answers. However, we may not have peace or joy — the fruits of the spirit. We can’t refresh others and will eventually dry up because we aren’t getting nutrition from the vine.
Fortunately, the analogy breaks down here. Tomatoes cannot be reattached to the vine. However, Christians can be. All you have to do is ask God to come near again.
Which tomato best describes your relationship with Christ? Hothouse or home-grown? If it’s the hothouse, what will you do about it?