I keep the deadheads trimmed to promote blooming, but one week I was a little late getting to that chore and found half a dozen "rose hips," the fruit of a rose that grows where the pollinated flower bloomed, a swelling that gradually turns color as it ripens, usually red or orange, but sometimes purple or even black. Although you have to be careful with preparation, rose hips can be used for tea, jelly, syrups, seasoning, and even fruit leather. Occasionally, I have thought about harvesting some and trying the jelly, but here's the deal: if you let the hips form, you will have fewer blooms. Right now, I don't need any sustenance from rose hips. What I want are the beautiful blooms.
Ah, but while that may be fine for rose hips, it certainly isn't fine for my life as a Christian. God wants something useful out of me. He doesn't care how I look on the outside, but only how I act and the state of my heart on the inside. If all I am is a pretty blossom on the outside, but I am bearing no fruit, whether by good deeds or spiritual growth, I am fit for nothing but to be "cast into the fire and burned" (John 15:6).
We can take it a step further to whole churches. The building may be an architectural marvel, as many ancient churches are, but what is going on inside? Do they produce Christians? If the pure gospel doesn't echo down their halls, and all they evoke is appreciation of their apses, naves, stained glass, painted ceilings, and sculpted icons, just exactly how is it that God is glorified? Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matt 5:16)
Most of the time we understand that the fruit is the important thing. Here in Florida the orange blossom is the state flower and its smell, as you drive the rolling hills of Central Florida orange groves, nearly overpowering. In my garden, those pale yellow, maroon-centered okra blooms are truly gorgeous. But those things and others are grown for their fruit, not their blooms. Don't let your beautiful rose bushes lead you astray on that.
And even now the axe lies at the root of the trees: every tree therefore that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (Matt 3:10)