It is quite possibly the most abused, misused, and flippant word in the English language. Consider how we use it. I love God, and I love sausage rolls. I love my children, and I love empty parking spaces.
Fruit of the Spirit
How can we know if we’re really making progress in our spiritual walk? After all, the Bible offers no prescribed checklist of duties to perform that prove we’ve “arrived” as mature believers. But a list provided by Paul in Galatians 5:22–23 does offer proof both to ourselves and to those around us that the Spirit of God who dwells within us controls our thoughts and actions.
And that’s the catch. We can’t produce such fruit on our own—even with the most sincere effort. We can’t fake this fruit either. Rather, the fruit of the Spirit is a supernatural result of yielding to the Holy Spirit. Once we’re exhibiting the pure, holy fruit of the Spirit, the contrast is stark between those who are filled with the Spirit and those who obey the deeds of the flesh, as seen in Paul’s other list in verses 19-21! When we exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, all the glory goes to God.
Developing the habit of deferring gratification is no simple task, especially since we all seem to be multi-taskers these days. We live with the short term in mind.
I had never given the idea of compassion much thought until a few months ago when in the midst of a friend’s crisis, I felt gut wrenching pain and realized, for the first time, this was what true compassion felt like.
For the rest of the missions trip, I thought about Jesus' ministry and the compassion He must have felt for the many people He encountered. People He taught, healed, and those who desperately cried out to Him.
Looking back more than 60 years, I've learned a valuable lesson: when people are hurting, they need much more than an accurate analysis and a quick diagnosis. More than professional advice.
For the most part I can tell someone who has done me wrong “I forgive you,” and really mean it. Where I have trouble is when that person has wronged someone I love.
For the Southworth's, life is a looking glass. Frown into it and it will frown back at you. Laugh with it and you will find it a kindly companion.
Whenever I read Proverbs I desire to become a wiser person. But how? A quick Google search reveals I'm not the only one wondering. Although obtaining wisdom is an ancient goal, it is no less important today.
Although it won't be as simple as in years past I have resolved to rid myself of my selfish attitude, only interested in what I can get out of Christmas.