Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Good Monday morning Men. I want to let you know that I have been struggling with this one as of late. After a busy morning of planning with my family. My sister in Texas has been activated for the Texas Army National Guard as a result of the storms that have devastated many areas in Texas already. My sister who is a Major in the Guard is also a recently singled mother with the tragic loss of her husband. She is not complaining at all, she understands her duties to serve and is very good at her job.
The planning has reached here to Illinois as well as Florida, as we try to provide support to her and her daughter. I am proud to be in part of a family that responds and desires to serve, in this situations we have all been activated.
However, when I am struggling to live by the spirit it presents an inner battle that will and has manifested itself in my outward attitude and behavior. This morning is no exception. Following the successful planning meeting with my wife, sisters and daughters. I was presented with another situation and thoughts that I did not understand and I was did not respond out of the Fruit of the Spirit.
I understand that the first three Love, Joy and Peace represent our attitude toward God. The second group, Longsuffering, Gentleness and Goodness have to do with our social relationships and last three, Faith, Meekness and Temperance guide my conduct.
Meekness is the one that gets me every time and reveals in me that the others are not in sync either. I know I don’t like to think of myself as meek as the world would define it – Webster’s defines Meekness as enduring injury with patience and without resentment, in a spirit of courage, not violent or strong.
Can I offer a different definition as present to me; Spirit manifested Meekness is strength under control. When presented with situations or circumstances, which we may not agree with or understand and we can respond in strength and in control others tend to respond. However, in my case I reacted and lashed out in my lack of understanding or knowledge. This was a quick reminder to me that if my conduct was not lining up with what Paul presented then I have to wonder what else is going on. When I look at the nine items presented as the Fruit of the Spirit I would assume that I start at the beginning with Love – this love here is Agape or unconditional love, Joy – Delight, and Peace – peace of mind.
Men, I must confess that I have put conditions on my love for God and has such I have no Joy or Peace and so I am not longsuffering, gentle or good natured. As you may have guessed my Faith is weak, we have established that I am not meek and my temperance is unpredictable.
So this morning, I start with my Father and confess these things to Him and will trust Him that others will come. In my confession my Men I pray that we are each examining our own attitudes and behaviors they will reveal to us where the problem and where we should start.
Father, thank you for Your word that pierces and can divide soul and spirit and of bone and marrow, that discerns the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. Your love and care is beyond comprehension. Help us this day to have the strength under control that only comes from you. Allow us to serve and love as you have demonstrated and called us too Amen.