Tag Archives: fruits of the Spirit

Putting Out Fires Before Burning Bridges

PUTTING OUT FIRES BEFORE BURNING BRIDGES

By Carolyn Dale Newell

”Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,

Ephesians 4:26 NKJV

I hate confrontation, but her web of lies and deceit could not continue. Instead of responding with repentance, she hurled verbal assaults attacking my morals. My flesh came up with good artillery to shoot back, but I thought better. For once, I submitted to the Spirit with love and self-control, as I ended the conversation.

Was I still angry? Yes, but I did not sin. Did it guard the relationship? Perhaps, but it definitely gave me a clear conscience. Looking back on that day, there are no regrets.

When the sparks of anger arise, we can employ the “Stop, drop and roll” technique we learned as children in case of fire. It seems to work as well with the flames of anger.

Stop, pause and be silent. Drop the words of retaliation on the tip of your tongue. Roll, as they say, with the Spirit. Allow love to take precedence. Let gentleness emerge from your lips rather than harsh words which can never be taken back. Extinguish the flames of anger by expressing the fruit of meekness and love.

When we get mad, we have a choice. We can choose to react in the flesh, or we can choose to respond in the Spirit. When we walk in the flesh, we allow Satan to have a victory, and we dishonor our heavenly Father. When we walk in the Spirit, we please God, resist the devil, and send him running. The emotion of anger is not sinful, but the choices we make can be. As with all fire, we must make sure no spark remains to reignite. We must not allow any bitterness to take root. Speaking kindness into a volatile situation may not preserve the relationship, but it will protect us from sin’s ugly shame. Follow the Spirit and choose obedience.

Dear heavenly Father,

It is difficult in the midst of anger to act in a manner which pleases You. My flesh wants to lash out and go on the defense. Help me remember to Pause choosing my words carefully. Only allow the right words to come to mind. Thank You for forgiving my fleshy choices and for guiding me to Spirit-filled ones. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Ephesians 4.

HIKING THE TRAIL

What are some spiritual choices you can make the next time you find yourself in a dispute? Prepare a few well-chosen statements to recall in the moments you pause before speaking such as:

 

  • I love you, and I refuse to argue with you.”
  • “I understand that is the way you perceive things, but I feel…”

 

Copyright 2016 Carolyn Dale Newell.

Spiritual Miracle-Gro

SPIRITUAL MIRACLE-GRO

By Carolyn Dale Newell

But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith,

love, patience, gentleness.

1 Timothy 6:11 NKJV

I repeatedly checked my inbox, hearing the familiar ding. Once again, it was not the email I had anticipated. My heart thumped with the stress and excitement of publishing another book. I was overwhelmed with curiosity concerning the details. What would the cover look like? Would this be the final revision?

Was it not enough that God knew? Could I not trust His plans without having the information ASAP? Was I walking in the flesh rather than the Spirit?

Impatience grew, like the weeds in my flower garden. While tending to my plants, I realized my needs were similar to the beautiful blooms. First, weed out these eager desires. Next, pour on the spiritual Miracle-Gro to jump start my ability to sit tight. It is only through the Holy Spirit that patience will blossom.

My need-to-know was actually my need to control the situation, but God was in control. I must trust His plans and His timing. My time for waiting is God’s time for working. We can rest while waiting, or we can wrestle with waiting. A patient wait is peaceful, but an inpatient one is filled with panic. We must make the choice. Hours of continual worry transpire into days of agony. Would it not be better to linger in Scripture allowing God’s peace to calm our troubled hearts and minds?

Our focal verse commands us to pursue patience. It should be sought after like a thirsty man seeks a glass of cold water.

Perhaps you can identify with my fleshly need for immediate answers. Possibly, your struggles are more serious. You may be longing to hear test results. You may be looking forward to the day when a terrible situation becomes a memory. Whatever we are expecting, let’s determine to wait God’s way: calmly trusting in His timing. Every time, God is right on time.

Holy Spirit, patience is one of Your fruits. Plant within me the ability to wait it out in a manner which brings glory to my heavenly Father. In Jesus’ name, amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Galatians 5:17-25. Verse 24 speaks of crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires. That includes impatience, but it requires a daily crucifixion of the flesh.

HIKING THE TRAIL

What is the best way to crucify impatience daily?? Follow the Spirit’s lead into the fragrant garden of patience today.

Copyright 2016 Carolyn Dale Newell.