Got a Minute?
I know of a preacher who is doing a video series with the title Got a Minute?
I love that idea and while I am not going to enter his territory with a video series of my own, I may very well share some writing with you under that guise in the future as well as today.
So, Got a Minute? I hope you do!
One of my favorite contrasts in scripture is found in Galatians 5. In verses 19-21, Paul follows up a section about walking by the Spirit by enumerating a short list of ugly behaviors/ attitudes he calls the work of the flesh. And ugly they are!
But the contrast toward those ill-formed activities is walking by the Spirit—exhibiting the Fruit found therein. We read about that in verses 22-23:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.” (CSB17)
Unfortunately, a theological pet peeve of mine is referring to these characteristics as the fruits of the Spirit as if there were many. But, if I understand correctly, all of these attributes work together to be the fruit of a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led walk of faith.
Honestly, these characteristics are challenging to me—and maybe because I struggle too much with some of the things referred to as the works of the flesh. Yes, God is still working on me.
Occasionally, the topic of new elders will come up and we are quick to look at what Paul told Timothy and Titus. But from my perspective, the first qualities of life we ought to consider or the first question we ought to ask is does this person display the fruit of the Spirit? And if we were to really get serious, that ought to be the first question of qualification for any child of God in any capacity.
While I cannot remember where I heard it, I have to agree with the guy that said, “if flexibility and adaptability are not a part of the Fruit of the Spirit, they ought to be!”
Flexibility and adaptability.
Think about those terms.
Now think about them through the lens of patience and self-control… Honestly? I think you can easily make a case for their inclusion or at least being a way to define how patience and self-control can be seen.
So, why am I talking about flexibility and adaptability? Simply because we are living in very strange times—and these strange times mean different ways of doing things. These strange times mean nothing is really normal. These strange times mean we may have to see, do, and accept differences we are not accustomed to. And, these strange times most likely mean we cannot control everything as we might like.
In your family.
And even with church, these strange days call for us to model Christ-like behavior, to live the Fruit of God’s Spirit, and to exercise patience and self-control.
Got a minute?
And in so doing, you may be an instrument of peace in a chaotic world—and hey, wouldn’t you know, being peaceable is also a mark of the Spirit’s fruit!
Blessings to you!
Les Ferguson, Jr.