Living a God-centered life

December 20, 2011


I can’t believe we have finally made it to the last Fruit. If you have missed the others you can click on their names here: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness. It has been a great refresher for me, and I hope it has been the same for you. I have never really taken a step back to consider each fruit. I love how they are all interconnected. I have also become downhearted because of the lack of fruit I see around me. The last one is no exception.

There are a lot of people who like to just ignore self-control. When a friend goes on a diet we are all very excited for that person, but don’t you dare turn the tables around and expect me to do the same.

We are so desire centered. What will make me feel good right now? That is what I am going to do. Do not try and stop me; do not try and get me to live differently. This way has worked and I like how it makes me feel. What a selfish way to live. But that is how so many people do.

We feel we have the right to live however we want. We live in the “land of the free and the home of the Brave.” We have right to do as we please.

Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Self-control is in there too.

Paul points out to us in a different place in Scripture that just because we have the right to do something does not mean that we should.  In 1 Corinthians 6:12 he says, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” He is saying here that just because he can do something does not mean that he should. Is that thing profitable for the kingdom? If not then should we really be spending out time doing it?

Last night my wife and I spent some time watching the show Intervention. In each case someone has allowed themselves to be mastered by an addictive substance. They fall so deep into it that it messes with their minds to an extent that they can no longer reason. This is what happens when we allow ourselves to be mastered.

Even if it is not drugs or alcohol that we are giving in to, it can still mess with our minds. In order to keep up the habits we have, we must justify them. We have to keep telling ourselves over and over that what we are doing is fine. “I’m so busy, _________ just helps me to relax. I’m allowed one thing.”

Later in 1 Corinthians we are told this: “Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame (1 Corinthians 15:34).” When we allow ourselves to not practice self-control then we become anything but sober-minded. We “veg out” or we “escape.” There are other, more constructive ways to relax from a hard day or week other than giving into sin “just this once.”

Scriptures do not call us to act like Christ “most of the time.” God does not desire for us to practice self-control when we feel like it. This is a fruit, if we are in Christ then we should be producing this fruit! Step back and look at your life, are you producing the fruit of self-control?

Immediately following the fruit of the Spirit we find this verse, “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” I am not saying (and neither is Paul) that we cannot have a good time with family and friends eating and enjoying each other’s company this Christmas. Paul is commanding that we do not let these passions and desires rule us. They are not our way of life. Jesus has showed us how to live and we must live that way!

There has been a lot in the last 9 posts for me to digest. I would encourage everyone (I am doing this as well) to take a look at our lives and see which fruit we are producing and which we are not. Then spend a week trying to implement one. Then when that is down, start on the next, until you are producing all the fruit.

It is a wonderful life that God has planned for us. Let’s grab a hold of it and live the way He desires!

What fruit will you start on today?

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