“By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. Matthew 7:16–17
We learn a lot about a religion from examining the results in the lives of its followers. Take the story about a family who followed the wrong way down the wrong path. This family’s religion pressured them toward manipulation, sexual immorality, lying, and injustice. In contrast, Safeena’s God, the God of love, led her to be industrious, sacrificial, and steadfast. One day, God will help Safeena come to a place of forgiveness for those who wronged her. Be careful when you hear others say that all religions are basically the same. We are called to be fruit inspectors—carefully examining the fruit of people’s lives to reveal their motives. Don’t be fooled by what you read about any religion. Look closely at the results in the lives of its followers.
Safeena ws a quiet, lovely girl. Growing up in Pakistan, she learned that as a woman and a Christian, her opportunities in life would be limited and meager.
So, when she got the job cooking and cleaning for a wealthy family, she was overjoyed that she could make some money and help her impoverished family.
Eventually Safeena’s beauty and gentle demeanor attracted her employers’ son. He approached his parents about taking her as his wife, but Safeena was a Christian. They pressured her to convert, but Safeena bravely and steadfastly refused. After weeks of pressure, she wanted to leave, but she knew her family desperately needed the money.
Finally, the young man gave up trying to convince Safeena to be his wife and made a harsh decision. He viciously dragged Safeena to one of the bedrooms and took her by force.
Safeena was shattered. She immediately quit her job, but before she could bring charges, the family turned on her and told police that she was stealing. Safeena was immediately arrested and suffered further abuse in jail.
Safeena does not regret taking a stand for Christ but still struggles with the shame of what happened to her. She is courageously holding on to the promises of God for physical and emotional healing amid her struggle to forgive her perpetrator.
▪︎Adapted from the Voice of the Matyrs.