Do you ever find yourself scratching your head wondering about the things you say and do? I just had one of these moments! Here I sit with an Alice & Victor cool pack resting on the shoulder I pulled during an ungraceful entrance into my own home – through the basement window.
As I read first hand accounts of others I know they questioned their decisions:
- Joseph, as he mentioned, “remember me” to the cupbearer
- “I will never disown you,” from Peter
- Hezekiah “showed them all” then lost all he showed
- “A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest” – the them being Jesus’ disciples
- Moses “struck the rock twice” instead of speaking to it once
In case you think it was only the male leaders who were rash in speech or action, I’ll spare us the feminine examples Eve, Martha, the mother of James and John, and others.
We’ve all been there at one time or another:
speaking when silence would have been golden
moving at a time when peace and rest were the power centers of advancement
allowing emotions to rule reason
hidden internal agendas and motives bubbling into full view
The Things We Say and Do
“Words are like toothpaste” is an object lesson that powerfully illustrates the importance of the things we say and do.
“Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.”
In most cases if I would slow down, say a little prayer and move thoughtfully, “calamity” could be avoided. Proverbs 31 speaks about women but it applies to all:
“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”
But of course, it isn’t just our words that can get us into precarious situations; actions speak too!
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life,
by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”
Fruit of the Spirit
I enjoy growing fruit: raspberries and strawberries, cherries and plums, apples and grapes, apricots and pears – all in a Canadian prairie garden! That may not seem like much to those in warmer territories, but in northern regions these plants need to withstand the brunt of harsh and lengthy winters.
The bible and life have taught me that a good tree will always bear good fruit. Always!
I know we tend to think of the fruit of the Spirit as elementary, but it remains a constant work in progress for me. (Slow learner?) Just when one branch of my life is producing in abundance, another withers.
I find the hardest place to position this beautiful and life-giving “fruit” is toward myself especially in “what did I just say and do” moments.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace,
forbearance, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.“
In our “Ugh!” moments, can we show ourselves the same grace we demonstrate to others?
patient in our weaknesses,
loving in our self-thoughts,
gentle and kind in failure,
displaying the love of Christ
when we feel replaceable, unloved,
rejected, forsaken, or alone…
The fruit of the spirit is the kingdom on heaven, through Christ, being expressed toward others and myself!
Why Did I Say and Do That?
It all begins in our thinking! Graham Cooke is a gem at inspiring many to redirect the negative to positive!
“Every day, we wake up with a mindset that works for us or against us…
It produces a way forward
and it allows us to enjoy the circumstances
and the discovery that we are going to make.
It allows a strength to emerge and be developed.”
Did you catch that little word – “produce”? That is fruit talk!
“A mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”
The good news is, we have the mind of Christ already! It has been given to us with salvation! Now we just need to adjust it, focusing it fully on the Spirit!
So on those days when I say or do something out of focus with who Christ in me is, I can think creatively and positively to turn things around. This little pulled muscle reminds me of lessons learned!
- I’m too old to elegantly climb through windows!
- I can listen and focus on what the Spirit is doing and saying.
- I have opportunity to adjust my personal lens zooming into the same perspective.