Well into the 20th century, coal miners brought caged canaries into coal mines as an early-warning signal for toxic gases, primarily carbon monoxide. The birds, being more sensitive, would become sick before the miners, who would then have a chance to escape or put on protective respirators. So, music to a miner’s ear was their canary singing meaning there was no to very little toxins in the air.
This begs a question that we must ask ourselves. Does my life produce toxins that negatively impact people around me? Or, do I have a healing, positive influence on these same folks?
In Galatians 5:19-23, you have two list. One list is toxic killing the canary, and the other list is clean and holy making the canary sing.
The following is the toxic list, “being sexually unfaithful, not being pure, taking part in sexual sins, 20 worshiping gods, doing witchcraft, hating, making trouble, being jealous, being angry, being selfish, making people angry with each other, causing divisions among people, 21 feeling envy, being drunk, having wild and wasteful parties, and doing other things like these.” The Bible warns us that these poisonous characteristics are produced by the flesh and are not a part of God’s kingdom. This list hurts and harms the people around you.
The next list is generated by the Holy Spirit, “the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.” This list heals and leads to growth. How do you construct a life like this? Here is what the Bible says in verses 24 and 25, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their own sinful selves. They have given up their old selfish feelings and the evil things they wanted to do. 25 We get our new life from the Spirit, so we should follow the Spirit.”
Two lists, one produced by the flesh which generates toxins and the other by the Holy Spirit leading to light and life for you and the others around you. You choose.
Is your canary singing?