I peeked into my fruit basket today. My "spiritual" fruit basket that is. I have been noticing some brown spots on some of my "fruits". Two have been smelling quite unpleasant lately.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Patience and gentleness.....two characteristics that I long so desperately to have, give me so much trouble. I want to be patient. I hear mothers around me who are so soft-spoken. They speak so lovingly to their children. I often wonder if they are always this way, or just in public. Regardless, I want to be that way. Truth be told, if my children were asked to give a specific example of someone who showed patience with them I probably wouldn't make the short list. Oh I feel like I'm patient. Otherwise, I would blow a gasket after the tenth time of telling them to hang up their bath towel, or after reminding them five times to finish a chore. If I weren't patient, I would send them to bed without supper for their attitudes or lack of responsibility.
But in all honesty, while I'm being "patient" in my mind with them, I'm not being gentle.
It makes me quite sad when I think about it.
When I think of my Heavenly Father, I have such peace in my heart when I come into His presence. No matter how bad things are, how sinful I have been, how much I need to repent....I still have peace knowing I am coming into the arms of my loving Heavenly Father who shows me patience like NO OTHER. If I received the response that I deserve, He would turn away and refuse my pitiful act of repentance. He would never shine His face on me again.
But thankfully, He is always faithful, always forgives, and is always there to listen and comfort me.....even when I am far from deserving.
I want to please my Heavenly Father much like my children want to please me. My lack of gentleness must be ugly at times. In 1 Peter it says: "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. " I want to be beautiful in God's sight. I want Him to smile on me.
So I am going to try and polish these fruits and make them beautiful in God's sight.
It makes me nervous, I do admit. Anytime you work hard to be what God wants you to be, you will be tested and tried. So the phrase, "You are trying my patience" will ring loudly over the next few days and weeks I'm sure. I pray that I will be gentle in my answers and my reactions to others. I pray for the patience of Christ.
Thank you, Lord for your gentleness and your patience with me.
I truly adore You and want to be beautiful in your eyes.
Give me the strength to love others the way the You love me......patiently and gently.
Marks the man who walks with God.
Not from weakness,
But out of goodness,
He restrains himself.
He will not wound the weakened one,
But sets the broken bones
And heals the battered soul.
He speaks the truth
Not to gossip, nor to destroy.
He speaks the truth
To combat lies.
The Holy Spirit flows through him--
For God and for others,
A river of glorious grace. ~Unknown