I feel like I need to add a statement at the end of yesterday’s post–“to be continued”. I said yesterday that I would need to reflect more on the topic of the fruits of the Spirit and the preceding scriptures which outline the behaviors of man. Today as I continued to read in Galatians, I find more which Joyce Meyer inserts. I greatly appreciate her insights for they clarified for me what I was pondering and still unclear.
Joyce says that all of us are created with talents, those gifts given at birth which we would call our strengths. The behaviors outlined in Galatians 5:19&20 are the ones man develops over time which are sinful and even destroy the effectiveness of the given talents/gifts we possess from birth. Paul, writer of Galatians, goes onto say in Galatians 5:22-24 that when we accept Christ into our hearts the seeds of the characteristics of the Holy Spirit are planted within us. God is giving us opportunity to grow these seeds, nurture them until they become evident in our lives by the way we use the gifts/talents given to us at birth.
Joyce goes onto say that the fruits of the Spirit begin with love and end with self-control. She identifies these two fruits as bookends for the other 7. In other words, we should strive to use all of our gifts/talents in love and in self-control. The talents I possess were largely different from those of my father. When I was growing up and was praised for any talent I used I was brutally criticized for them by dad. I was told I just wanted to be better than the rest of my family and I should just leave and go do my own thing for I didn’t care at all for others. This was never the thinking I had, but I was endlessly told this. Because of this I’d hide from any praise I’d receive and if I did get any, I’d certainly try to keep it from dad.
I love the balance Paul has given talents and use of them through growing the seeds of God’s Holy Spirit. This is how we should monitor ourselves and how we should give any assistance to others, including our children and grandchildren. How much I want to grow in this!