“The fruit of the Spirit is . . .” (Galatians 5:22).

“How can you tell when someone’s a real Christian?” the young boy asked his mother. “Well Son, we can’t go around judging people,” she said, “but we can be fruit inspectors.” She went on to explain how different trees bear different fruit—peach trees produce peaches, apple trees produce applies, and lemon trees produce lemons. If we want to know what kind of tree a tree is, we can find out by looking at the fruit it bears.

The Bible tells us that the same thing is true of people. People who are Christians bear Christian fruit. The fruits are listed in the book of Galatians. Not surprisingly, the first fruit mentioned is love, and it is no accident that it is first. Love is what it is all about. God set the example for us. He loved the world (all of us) so much that he gave his son for us. Jesus loved us so much that he gave his life for us. We are taught that the greatest of all commandments are these two: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” (Matthew 22:37, 39) and “Love your neighbor (anyone and everyone) as yourself.” If we do those two things, everything else will take care of itself.

Real love shows. If we are wondering if someone is a Christian, we need to look at his or her love fruit. While we are at it, let’s take a good look at our own. How are we showing God’s love?

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life.,