The difference between a hypocrite and a saint is repentance.

“Faith to be Healed” by Bountiful with Brittany

I’ve been pondering Christ’s experience with the barren fig tree this week.

“The time of figs was not yet” could also be translated, according to Adam Clark’s commentary, as “the time of gathering figs had not yet come.” March and April were times for fig growth, but the gathering of the figs typically wasn’t until after passover.

…Even more reason for the fruit to still be on the tree, especially since it had an abundance of leaves.

And yet, the tree was empty.
And so, Christ cursed it.

Many see this as Christ warning against hypocrisy.

Which had me pondering, if a hypocrite is someone who says one thing and lives another, aren’t we all hypocrites?

As I thought about this question, a thought came to my mind:

The difference between a hypocrite and a saint is repentance.

Interestingly, Christ gives the parable of the barren fig tree earlier on in his ministry, and, leading up to the parable, states “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5)

And, beautifully, John the Baptist even mentions that we must “bring forth FRUIT meet for repentance.” (Matthew 3:8)

True repentance brings fruit to our spiritual fig trees. Because repentance brings change.

As President Nelson stated, “Nothing is more liberating, more ennobling, or more crucial to our individual progression than is a regular, daily focus on repentance. 

“Repentance is not an event; it is a process. […]When coupled with faith, repentance opens our access to the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”

Christ said, “You cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” (John 15:4)

And we cannot remain in Him unless you are continually repenting and turning towards Him.

Repentance allows you to remain in Him, opening your access to the power that made blind eyes see,
Water hold man up,
A few pieces of bread feed a multitude,
And can absolutely make your barren places become fruitful.

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