As we prepare to get rained on for the next couple of days, let me rain on your parade a little bit with a meditation that has been kicking my rear end lately. Take a look at this partial list of the sins of the flesh listed in the book of Galatians:
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
(Galatians 5:19-21 NLT)
Okay, Okay, I know that you haven't dusted off your sorcerers hat in a long time, but, if you are like me, some of the other ones nailed you right between the eyes.
*Impure thoughts, anyone? That is still a battle I fight everyday.
*Hostility? Only towards people who drive slow...or fast, and have 25 items in the 20 or less lane at Walmart. Oh yeah, that's everyone in New Braunfels.
*Jealousy? I struggle with jealosy and envy with other ministries who seem to be succeeding more than I am.
*Outbursts of Anger? Hello, I have kids. And my fuse with Amy is way too short.
*Selfish Ambition? As much as I would love to think this isn't true of me...
*dissension, division? This was the problem for the church in Galatia. Every church struggles with it to a point.
Okay, now here is a list of the fruit of the Holy spirit that are suppossed to be evident in our lives:
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
(Galatians 5:22-23 NLT)
Alright. Now, with both lists in mind (and dont shoot me - I don't write the mail, I just deliver it), which list describes you more accurately?
Is that not a humbling revelation? For those of us who teach and lead it has even stronger implications:
Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.
(James 3:1 NLT)
In the past, I would have said the solution was to "do better" and be more like the second list than the first. But I am realizing that the second list is only reachable through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit in my life. Where is it? Why don't I experience it more fully? Why don't you?
What do you think?
Song of the Week
From the Lead Singer of Mercy Me
Aparrently he has two hymn solo projects out. I love the treatment on this song, so I may pick up the others, too.