Every day we are faced with many choices. From the basic, 'what shall I eat for breakfast?' to the more involved, 'should we sign the contract?' We make so many little choices in one day that sometimes we are probably not even aware we are making them. Sometimes we even forget we hold the power to make and change our choices.
I believe we have the same power when it comes to the fruit of the spirit. Lately, I have been challenged about intentionally choosing to pursue the fruits of the spirit instead of just picking at them randomly whenever I am in the mood or am feeling particularly loving, patient and kind.
There have been many times when I feel anything but the fruit of the spirit, instead anger, frustration, disappointment and jealousy want to take over. Yet, each time I feel the still, quiet voice whispering to me, 'you don't have to succumb to these feelings, the choice is yours.'
Your loved ones have let you down, offended you, neglected you, and have caused you deep upset. You feel wounded, hurt, bitter and sorry for yourself. The more you think about it the worse you feel and you're working on the perfect offensive response, but then the still quiet voice whispers, 'choose love.'
Your boss just let you go, your best friend hasn't called in a long time and bills keep piling up. You can feel depression, anxiety, loneliness and fear wanting to take over your entire being, you can't see a way out and you feel utterly miserable but then the still quiet voice whispers, 'choose joy.'
Your baby keeps crying, the kids won't stop bickering, the phone keeps ringing and the power just got cut. You can feel agitation and distress, irritation and frustration are about to make you reach breaking point. You want to scream and shout, and rant and rave, but then the still quiet voice whispers, 'choose peace.'
The fruit of the spirit
The traffic is horrendous, your neighbour keeps making noise, the investment fell through; rumours start circulating about you, your partner forgot an important date, your friend doesn't invite you to their barbecue, your car breaks down.
Envy, jealousy, bitterness, callousness, strife and negativity want to invade your innermost being and outlook on life, but then the still quiet voice whispers, 'choose patience, choose kindness, choose goodness, choose faithfulness, choose gentleness and choose self-control.'
(Galatians chapter 5, verses 16–26)
Jo Fuller is an early childhood teacher with degrees in journalism and education. She is currently kept busy by her baby, Isaac and lives on the Sunshine Coast with her husband.
Jo Fuller archive of articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jo-fuller.html