OK, so last Wednesday night I walk into the youth room a little on the tired side. Actually scratch that. I was really tired, with a prize winning headache on top. With every step up the stairs I was debating on turning around and playing hooky for the evening. My hubby has other willing and able adults helping him, besides it is "youth" group, I'm not there to learn anyway...
I stayed and ended up with my toes severely stepped on.
Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!
The Lord threw one curve ball at me after another. And then managed to kick me in the you know what really good. I walked away mumbling in my head, about all this "dying to self" and "living in godliness" being just "plain hard" sometimes. It doesn't help when the Lord uses my hubby to be my teacher either!!! Nobody likes a "know it all" husband!!! Or at least I was trying to use that as my excuse as to WHY I didn't want to listen...or follow. (I know, I was being childish. I've already gotten on to myself. Actually, I love listening to Kevin teach, but when the toes get stepped on...)
But I've had a few days to mull it over. The verses used Wednesday night have stayed with me, constantly just "showing up" in my head as great big reminders of just how I am suppose to be acting. I know your curiosity is getting the better of you, so I will share the subject matter of the Bible study Kevin is working through on Wednesday nights with our youth group...
The Fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-24 serves as the "perfect" example of how to live and be totally "Christlike."
"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires..."
OK. Loving is pretty easy for me. I can find joy, have peace, be kind and good and I'm known to be gentle. I might struggle with patience every once in a while, but I try daily to be faithful.
I have real issues when it comes to that "self-control" word. Guess what fruit of the Spirit good 'ol Hubby was on this week. And you wonder WHY I was tired, with a headache and wanted to play hooky. I didn't want the Guilt. I didn't want the disappointment in self to be added on my plate. I wanted to ignore this "fruit." After all, I have been working real hard on all the others. Is it really necessary that every Christian have ALL the fruit displayed in their life?
So you see, I walked away knowing that by "knowing" I must try harder, be better, get stronger and finally give control all up. If Christ lives in you, then HE has total control. In other words, one really must have self-control for all the other fruit in their life to really produce.
The definition of self-control is "not saying or doing everything we desire." The temptation to gossip, overspend, overeat, speak your mind, or not manage your time wisely can be real "worms" in the bowl full of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. The only way to "deworm" is to "give up" the control. Hard stuff to swallow for a wife and mom of two. I tend to think mom always "knows best" or "has all the answers." When the truth is, I don't.
I must remember that when I am weak, he is strong...when I struggle for answers, He knows all...when I want to give up, He keeps going...when I self medicate with the desires of the heart, HE has self-control...when I fail, He forgives. To develop self-control I must realize I CAN'T do it on my own power, I must believe Christ can.
So here I am on a Friday night, contemplating the lessons learned. God is so good, He really does meet you where you are. This week I am learning self-control. Scratch that. Actually I'm learning how to give up control to someone who really knows best...The Father.
I really desire to have a beautiful bowl of fruit in this 'ol heart of mine.
What does your fruit basket look like?