“But the fruit of the Spirit if 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. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” Galatians 5:22-26
I love fruit. Give me just about anything fruity, and I’ll eat it. I mean the real stuff, not the flavored stuff. I HATE banana flavored stuff. It kinda makes me want to gag. Most of the rest of it I can handle, but cannot stand banana. I’ve tried. I really have, but there’s just something about it that makes me throw up a little in my mouth each time. Okay. Maybe it’s not that bad, but it’s pretty close.
I do however LOVE a real banana. I just had some dental work done, and my tooth is still hurting, so the banana being soft is wonderful for that. Just about perfect. There are so many benefits to eating a real banana versus the flavoring, potassium being the main one that I can think of off the top of my head. I can’t think of any real benefits of eating banana-flavored anything unless in my case you want to eject everything you just ate from your body in a violent sort of way.
The fruit of the spirit. These are the biggies. If we’re being led by the Spirit, as the scripture says, then we must be displaying these fruits. I do ok in most circumstances, but I’m going to admit to you that I have a problem with the self-control. The first step of recovery is admitting you have a problem, right? I love to eat. I like to eat when I’m happy. I like to eat when I’m sad, I like to eat when I’m bored and I like to eat when it’s Tuesday. Seriously, there really doesn’t have to be a reason. I like food.
I also like to spend money. Until I completely changed careers there was really no rhyme or reason as to how I spent money. My general rule was that if I wanted it, I would find some way to buy it. I justified it by maybe getting it on sale or such a great deal that I couldn’t pass up. Unfortunately this habit of spending money got me into a little trouble. Then work slowed down, and when you only get paid every now and then, it’s hard to just pay the bills that you have to pay to stay alive without the cell phone or internet or credit card bills. It was bad news.
I’m telling you this because I want to be real with you. I mean, it doesn’t take a genius to take a look at me and know that I struggle with food. But you probably wouldn’t know about my financial issues unless you know me. God is full of grace and mercy thankfully. If we live our lives in step with the Spirit, He will guide us and give us everything we need.
I struggle with self-control, but I started this blog because I am no longer content to just get by. I am no longer going to sell out and give in to my struggles with self-control so easily…or any other issues that I may deal with, but for the sake of this post, self-control is the main one. 😉
I hit a couple big milestones today. Not only are these big milestones in my personal physical life, but they’re milestones in my faith walk. Two years ago when I started my new wonderful job that I love (really I love every day I’ve been back here!) there was no way in the world that I would have been able to qualify for a home loan. My credit score was BAD, but I was working on it. Today I filled out a credit application and took it down to my friend at the bank to see if I could get pre-approved for something. I told her what kind of price range I was looking at, and she came back that I qualified for double that. I almost started crying. Keep in mind, I haven’t found a house that I want to buy yet, but I want to be ready ’cause it’s coming!
At my Weight Watchers meeting tonight I hit a milestone there, too. I have now officially lost 25.4 pounds. I had had a lot of personal issues that sent me into a depression at one very low point in my life, and I doubled in size over that time period…literally. I’m turning 30 this year, and there was no way I was going to turn 30 without making a move to change my life from the situation I was in. I was going to start being the person I was made to be and quit selling out figuratively and literally for one more bowl of soup.
Grace and mercy. God grants us these thankfully. I don’t have to have it perfect. There are days I’m probably going to go to Culvers and order a really big ice cream and indulge a little too much. There are probably also going to be times when I spend money that I probably shouldn’t have, but God shows us grace and mercy and love.
I’m reminded of the lyrics to one of my favorite songs as I sit here tonight. The bridge of it says, “Chains be broken. Lives be healed. Eyes be opened. Christ is revealed.” I’m thankful that chains can be broken and Christ will reveal himself to us and open our eyes and heal our lives. I’m thankful that my eyes were opened and continue to see new things daily. Some days I see things that I’m doing great with, and sometimes I see things that I really need to work on. We just have to get to the real heart of the matter, practice these fruits of the Spirit in every aspect of our lives and not become conceited and envy each other.
Father, my prayer is that you continue to open my eyes. Help me to see what is just flavoring and what is real. Help me to keep looking to You for guidance, Father, and lead me as I continue to crucify my sinful nature daily and keep in step with the Spirit.