"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits."
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls us to a new level of spiritual commitment based not on laws carved in stone or written on scrolls, but on our awareness of ourselves as perfect expressions of the divine.
Like anything new this commitment may seem confusing at first. We may not always be sure we're getting it right; we may not know whether the guidance we're hearing is from God or from our own fearful, limited ego mind.
At such times of confusion, many ‘experts’ are eager to guide us, to tell us what God wants us to know. It can be tempting to let such outside authorities -- individuals, groups, belief systems, even particular books -- dictate choices on our behalf. But there is an inherent danger in choosing to allow someone else to make spiritual choices for us. We may be trusting a wolf in sheep's clothing; the damage done by misplaced trust may be infinitely greater than the difficulty of choosing for ourselves.
Not to worry Jesus assures us. We can easily distinguish the true prophets from the false by the results of their teachings in our lives. True prophets will never claim for themselves aspects of God that truly reside within us all; they will always strive, as Jesus always did, to help us recognize the Presence of God within ourselves. If we feel empowered as a result of their teaching, left with a clearer understanding of our own intimate relationship to God, then the prophet is true and can be trusted. If the "fruit" of the teaching is to create a sense of dependence on the teacher, then the prophet is false, and caution is advised.
Today I release any anxiety about the choices I've made and the results, the fruit of those choices, now blossoming in my life. I know that I AM eternally free to choose again.