For the last 5 weeks we here at Gainesville Church have been having a series of messages on the Holy Spirit. In one of the messages I talked about the Fruits of the Spirit. When preparing the message I was amazed at how many of them related directly to interpersonal relationships.
Peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, self-control, all of these make or break the relationships we have with each other. If we have these fruits in growing amounts amounts in our lives our relationships will be much better.
If on the other hand we are lacking in patience, or gentleness, or kindness, faithfulness, and self-control. Not only will our relationships with family and friends be frayed but we will be sorely lacking in peace.
I offer a short check list to you today. Some things to ask yourself before you lose patience, aren’t gentle, show a lack of kindness, lose faith in a friend or family member, or are out of control with your emotions. Before you allow a political opinion or even a spiritual opinion to damage or even destroy a relationship ask yourself these things. Kind of counting to 10 before speaking when you are angry
- Will my words, or my behavior, change the underlying issue or situation that we are arguing about?
- Will I change the mind of the “other?”
- Is this issue important enough to lose a friendship or a family member?
- Is my behavior Christ like or un-Christ like?
- How much peace am I losing in my life by this continued discussion, debate, or argument?
- In the long run, which is more important, my point of view or this relationship that I am risking? Remember points of view change, real friendships in live are few, and family is forever.
When we learn to ask questions of ourselves before we sacrifice the fruits of the spirit, we will live lives that are more joyous, filled with more love, and are more at peace even in challenging times.
You might have one of those relationships that needs more patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. If you do now is a good time to start repairing damage that’s been done.
Just a thought on this the 12th of February 2021.