Monday, October 20, 2014

How's Your Fruit?

            “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  Galatians 5:22

     Just the other day I had the opportunity to display all of the above, but instead chose to show not a one.  I became frustrated over a situation at work and reacted in a way that exhibited not even a trace of fruit.   As I responded to an upsetting situation I had no patience, no peace, no goodness, no gentleness, and no self-control.  I stewed alone for five minutes, and then when I saw my three colleagues I let loose all the words I’d been rehearsing in my mind as I waited for them to join me.  Been there, done this?
     It was only after I walked away from everything and felt the unrest inside me that I realized I had to ask for forgiveness for my actions.  I felt I needed to do this immediately, and since I could not leave my area, I took a moment to send all of them an e-mail.  I began the e-mail with, “I need to ask your forgiveness for my outburst.”  I spent a minute wrestling with my reaction not being an outburst, as that sounded so severe.  Then I stared at the computer screen and I felt the Holy Spirit clearly say, “It was an outburst, call it what it was.”  And I did.  Outburst…was it the most comfortable word I’ve ever used to describe my behavior?  No, it was not, but it was definitely the position of humility God desired of me in that apology.

     I often think about the way children throw around the word “sorry.”  When they are asked to apologize for something they have done, “sorry,” in their eyes, is sufficient to cover everything.  They say it and it is over.  First Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I talked like a child; I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man (woman), I put childish ways behind me.”  As a woman continually working toward maturity in Christ, I need to ask forgiveness for my sins first of Jesus Who is the most offended by my disobedience, and then of any others I have offended.  A simply “sorry” is not enough.
      How would your family say you are showing love, patience, gentleness, goodness…as you relate to them each day?  Do your co-workers see joy, peace, kindness, self-control…when those difficult situations arise?  Has the Holy Spirit laid on your heart someone who needs to hear, “Forgive me for…”  Humble yourself and just do it!  He receives the glory and you receive His peace and freedom.  The choice is yours.

 Donna Bowles

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