The Right to Choose the Right Response
BY KAREN JETHROE
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.
Happy New Year!!!
How has the year started off for you? Mine has been quite a whirlwind of emotions. There are things that happened that left me broken-hearted. Other times, I was literally overcome with joy unspeakable.
There were times that I was so angry I felt as if I could spit nails. There were times when fear gripped my heart so strongly, I could barely breathe.
And how could I forget that day when frustration challenged me to abandon my faith, and betrayal almost made me bitter!
Every one of these circumstances created opportunities for me to react badly at the moment or to patiently allow the Holy Spirit to respond correctly through me.
This passage of scripture (Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.) from the Passion Translation has been a tremendous blessing to my life and in helping me to mature in the emotional places where I often fall short. The whole point of having these virtues is so we can respond virtuously in any situation.
I am ashamed to say that this has not always been the case in my life. My actions would produce fruit from my flesh. If I was upset, anger would come forth. If I was afraid, fear would come forth. If I was frustrated, harsh words would come forth. My self-righteous mind would justify my responses as if I had no other choice.
Other times it wasn't my actions that were out of control, it was my feelings and emotions that were being governed by my carnal thoughts. None of what I was thinking was really true, yet my mind was tormented by the thoughts. In turn, I was always on this emotional roller coaster.
One day a situation happened, and I didn’t like the feelings that I was experiencing. Before I could react like I normally would, Holy Spirit spoke gently to my heart. He said, “You have options.” “You have chosen to let this situation control how you feel, but you don’t have to.” “My spirit lives inside of you and I empower you to choose how you want to feel and how to respond in any given situation.”
Talk about a light-bulb moment!!! No matter what life brings my way, I have the option to choose love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and/or self-control!!!
I may experience sadness, but I don’t have to stay sad. I can replace it with joy! I may experience frustration, but I don’t have to stay frustrated. I can replace it with patience. I may experience worry, but I don’t have to stay worried. I can replace it with peace.!
The next time you feel the urge to walk in the flesh instead of the spirit, remember you have options. You are empowered to exercise self-control as you walk in the fruit of the Spirit!!!
Until next time,
Blessings and peace!
Also, I welcome you to join me and Dr. Tan, Wednesday, January 20 - January 22, as he prepares the five-fold ministry for apostolic activation and advancement. Click the flyer to purchase your ticket!