Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Humble, Gentle, Meek, Lowly Part II

How do we get it, do we already have it, how do we develop it?

Well, we do already have it.

Galatians 5:22-23
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

If you are born again and have received also the Holy Spirit then you are already filled with the fruit of the spirit. How? Well we see above the bible says the Spirit is. Just like God is love. The Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. So if the Spirit is all those things and the Spirit lives within us then the fruit of the Spirit also lives within us. It is a seed that needs to be developed.

For instance, you take a picture with a camera of Susie across the room. You have a picture of Susie but others can't see it because it hasn't been developed. You have the fruit of the Spirit within you as a seed that needs to be developed, worked like a muscle, practiced.

How do we develop it?

God puts circumstances in our lives where each of this gifts has the opportunity to be practiced. Our personalities are tested and we reveal the size of that seed in our hearts. While talking in the kitchen with my mother-in-law this weekend I caught myself interrupting her on more than one occasion to share my thought. I clearly remember asking myself as I began to talk over her why I was doing it. How rude! Yet, I did it anyway. That was the Holy Spirit inviting me to exercise patience, kindness, goodness, self-control, and love instead of pride because I obviously thought what I had to say was more important that what she was saying. So mom, if your reading this, sorry for being so rude!

Humility, meekness, and lowliness are all bi-products of each other. Having an awareness of our own faults and defects. Not thinking poorly of ourselves but not too highly either. Without pride.

A common dictionary definition of meekness is "a deficiency of spirit." However Galatians 5:22 refers to meekness as a fruit of the Spirit. When true meekness is produced by the Spirit of God, it is a valuable virtue. Yet the world tends to misperceive it as cowardice, timidity, or a lack of strength. That's not how the Bible defines meekness. It means "to be gentle-hearted." A meek person is the opposite of someone who is vindictive or who harbors bitterness and resentment toward others. Meekness is characteristic of one who is opposed to vengeance or violence. It is a quiet, willing submission to God and to others. A meek person has a mild, gentle, non-retaliating spirit. (John McAurthor)

Not telling off a person when we could is meekness. It is power under control. Anger is not absent from a person who is meek. We still experience anger, but we control our anger.

Take a week or a month even and write down all the silly, worthless, meaningless, offenses that occur in your day to day life. Write down the offense, why you were offended, and your reaction to it. You will quickly see within 24 hours the number times per day your character is tested. You will quickly learn whether you walk in the fruit of the spirit or if you live to seek revenge, in anger, and contempt. You will also be more keen to the still small voice of the spirit that guides your heart, thoughts, and conscience.

In closing...Ephesians 3:16 NIV
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.

Look it up and keep reading, it gets even better!

I just want to share a funny story with you. This morning from my room I could hear Tyler wincing like he was doing something that hurt. Because Tyler is being raised with a ton of woman and girls he tends to notice things that would ordinarily never be discovered by a typical thirteen-year-old. I went into the bathroom where I found his face in the mirror (not all that uncommon) holding masking tape. I often tease him about the "dirt" on his upper lip, he is coming of age you know. Tyler covets the minor hair that exists on his upper lip but apparently, not so much, the hair that began to grow between his eye brows. Yes people, he was attempting to use masking tape to rip the hair out of his face from between his eyebrows to get rid of what Tyler refers to as, "the uni brow." What is a mom to do? Well, I did the only thing that occurred to me. I pulled out my good ole' Sally Hansen wax tape and ripped the hair from his face the proper way. He went to school this morning with a bright red spot between his eyes where there used to be hair and to top things off, it was a bit shiny because I had gobbed on the oil that comes with the kit to relieve and cool the area. So no, Faith, who is ten and has hair on her legs like an amazon cannot shave but yes, Tyler who is thirteen can wax his uni brow. Go figure!

3 drops of sunshine:

Archie Mck said...

Poor Tyler! That made me laugh out loud, I hope his social life is forever changed!

Cindy said...

Oh, the joys of our children growning up!!

Nice post of living a life while allowing God to develop His characteristics in us.

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Such a fun story! Your life must be so very entertaining! :)
Really great post! I loved the perspective of having the fruit of the spirit, but perhaps not having it developed yet. Sometimes I get discouraged at the lack of fruit in my life. Good reminder that it IS there, just needs tending. :)