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July 10, 2017, 8:34 AM

The List...


Here's an activity that could potentially take up the rest of your day: Make a list of all the things that drive you crazy, make you lose self control, or just get under your skin and on your nerves.  

Ok, please don't do that. 1) if you're like me (which I'm positive you should not be), this list can take way too long to complete; and 2) it is an unhealthy exercise and I'm sorry I started my blog with that. 

What this does point out though is that, if you're normal, there are things that push our limits of self control. The problem is, those things typically don't change one bit whether we're mad or not. Think about this: what good does yelling at someone in your car do to that person who just cut you off? Nothing. It changes nothing but you're blood pressure and outlook on the human race as a whole. (I'm talking to me here). If I get frustrated with someone going slower than I think they should, the problem is not with them... it's ALL on me. 

When I lose self control, I am the one to blame. Which is the heart of much of the human problem. We're quick to blame someone, anyone for what is wrong, exonerating ourselves in the process. 

If you haven't crumpled up your list from above, check it out and see how many of those issues are really ME issues: lack of patience; loss of joy; love that is biased and incomplete; kindness that is either preferential or contingent on a return; the gentleness of a sword vs. the gentleness of our God; faithfulness to God's plan for ALL mankind to know his love; and/or the lack of peace that must be evident in our own bearings no matter the circumstances.  

The Fruit of the Spirit, when evident in our lives makes the List look downright silly. Petty grievances disappear in the light of being transformed into the likeness of Christ. Complaints turn to opportunities for expressions of Joy! And all the storms in the world wont be able to shake our sense of peace because Jesus is in the boat with us.  

The presence of the Holy Spirit within us is far more than just pushing out sinfulness. His presence brings out the very best of God in us, and lays it out for the world to see. 

Galatians 5: 13 - 16  13For you have been called to live in dfreedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your dfreedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.14For the whole elaw can be summed up in this one fcommand: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”15But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.16So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.

 


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