In computer science and mathematics, Garbage In, Garbage Out describes the concept that flawed or nonsense input data produces nonsense output or “garbage.” In other words, inaccurate or faulty information at the start will inevitably lead to inaccurate or faulty results.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said something remarkably similar: “A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.”1
This brief parable invites us to consider what our words and actions say about us and the Savior who lives within us. Do our lives express His care for others or our own self-centeredness? Do we communicate His generosity and justice, or do we default to the human impulse to build walls and exclude?
Like computer code and mathematical equations can be fixed by correcting the input data, Jesus reminds us that Christian living requires interior transformation, the kind that only He can bring about. “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”2
Jesus In, Jesus Out.
1. Matthew 7:17–18,20 NLT
2. John 15:4 NIV
Text courtesy of Activated magazine. Used by permission. Images in public domain.
There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.
Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the heavenly banquet. The rich man also died and was buried, and he went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.
The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’ But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’
Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’
The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’ But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’ (Luke 16:19-31)
Art by Didier Martin.
Words from Jesus
Get yourself a nice big glass of cold water, or some other pleasant refreshment that you enjoy, and as you drink it, praise Me for the wonderful, soothing, refreshing words I can give you. Drink it slowly and imagine My Spirit going into you as you take in the refreshing liquid. Meditate on how I am the water of life, I am what keeps you alive. Then stop for a moment and listen while I give you a sentence or two of My loving‚ refreshing words.
Adapted from My Wonder Studio.
Bible verses about joy for children. Click here to download the .pdf.
Click here to download the free new ebook or visit this post to read/download the .pdf
Stories in this book include:
- The Good Samaritan
- The Parable of the Guests
- Jesus washes the Disciples’ Feet
- The Final Judgement
Click here to download this free presentation for children.