Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Day 1 of the 21 Days: Fruits of the Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is not law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we list by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. NIV ~Galatians 5:22-25

I have always loved this verse. To know that all these good things that I wish I could be all at once are whats expected when we live a Christ-like life. Of course the reality is (at least for me) that we are never all of these things at the same time.

Although I have the capacity to love unbound, I am not always in the loving mood. There are times when anger captures me and I am not thinking about loving my neighbor.

Joy and peace escape me most of the time because I worry about the next calamity in my life, but when I keep my sights on God, I have found that they (joy and peace) lingers more often.

Patience and I have never ever been the best of buddies. However, this whole waiting on the Lord business forces patience whether I like it or not. There are times when there is nothing else to do but wait for God to move.

Overall, I believe I am a good person. I am thankful that God loves me more than I would love myself though. There are moments when I think things that are not so good after all.

I have faith ... in the grand scheme of things. I believe in God and Jesus and that He died for our sins. However, it is in the daily things that my faith is questionable. The times when it looks like I may get laid off from my job (yet again), or when I am caught with a cold that won't quite, or when my money is short. During those times, my faith wavers because, for a few moments, I may panic and not trust that God will keep me.

My friends would not actually call me gentle. I have my moments, but I am pretty sure, gentleness does not come to mind when they think about me :).

Self-control must be the biggest laugh of all. Sorry. I am sure some would say that this is not laughing matter, but if I had self-control at least half the time, I would be rolling in all kinds of riches (spiritually and physically) right now. Sometimes, I am absolutely great at disciplining my self and maintaining a level of self-control and other times, it is as if the thing does not even exist for me.

Nevertheless, isn't it wonderful to know that these things will manifest in our lives if only we keep focused on God? I am here to tell you that it is 100% true. Now if only we could get some self-control to stay faithful and love God always so that we can have a little bit of joy, peace, kindness, patience, goodness and gentleness thrive in our lives. I would totally be satisfied with that.
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