This past week I’ve been struggling with hatred in my heart against someone. I’ve tried to get rid of it but it really hard. This person isn’t a good person or even a decent person. The world would say I have reason and would justify my hatred. Jesus says love your neighbor as yourself. It is hard sometimes to have love for people who have hurt you and people you love. Sometime people are out of your life and then come back like a bad penny. This is what made my hate resurface.
It is easier to hate than love. That doesn’t make it right though. The person is someone who lives in sin and influences others to go down their path of self destruction. It’s hard to have compassion for people who act in such ways. As a Christian I can’t feel that their behavior is acceptable. Hate the sin not the sinner. I ended up praying that God would make a way for this person to not be involved in our lives anymore. I prayed that no harm would be done to this person. I just don’t want their influence or power over others around my family.
My devotion this morning about the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-25) gently reminded me that I need to cut my fruit of hatred off of my tree. It was making my branches weighed down. Sometimes you have to prune your branches so you can grow and get rid of all the dead things that weigh you down. It is not comfortable but it is necessary in order to grow. You will know a tree by its fruit. What does your fruit say about your tree? Do you need to get out the trimmers or maybe the chain saw (that’s what I need) to get rid of your dead limbs and bad fruit? I challenge you to examine yourself and get rid of the bad and work on producing more of the good. I am working on it! We all need a good pruning sometimes!
The fruit of the spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. What are these qualities that we are supposed to have?
Love – unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another
Joy– : a feeling of great happiness; a source or cause of great happiness ; something or someone that gives joy to someone; a state of happiness or felicity; bliss ; a source or cause of delight
Peace – a state of tranquility or quiet: as; freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions; harmony in personal relations
Longsuffering – suffering for a long time without complaining; very patient during difficult times; patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship
Gentleness – the quality or state of being gentle; especially mildness of manners or disposition
Gentle – having or showing a kind and quiet nature: not harsh or violent; not hard or forceful; not strong or harsh in effect or quality; free from harshness, sternness, or violence
Goodness – the quality or state of being good
Good – virtuous, right, commendable, kind, benevolent
Faith – : strong belief or trust in someone or something; belief in the existence of God; strong religious feelings or beliefs; firm belief in something for which there is no proof; complete trust
Meekness – having or showing a quiet and gentle nature; not wanting to fight or argue with other people; submissive
Temperance – the practice of always controlling your actions, thoughts, or feelings so that you do not eat or drink too much, become too angry, etc.
What fruit is on your tree? Which fruit of the spirit do you need to work on?