This is a very old post that I actually posted on Facebook, November 23, 2008. I was reading it and although I’m not on the Mom’s of Faith forums anymore and the Wannabee’s no longer exist I still thought this would be a good post to pull out of my archive’s. I hope you will enjoy traveling back in time with me today.
Fruits of the Spirit – Comparing Our Gifts
As I have mentioned before, I lead a group of ladies on Mom’s of Faith forums called the Wannabee’s. Basically we are group that “Wannabee” all that God has created us to be in our homes, communities, etc. We have been studying the Fruits of the Spirit. It hasn’t been an in depth study but just simple stuff challenging us to work on one of those areas each week. This week we reached everyone’s favorite one, longsuffering. Or as the AMP says, Patience. When I study these things I like to look at different versions of the Bible to see how the verse is translated. I was looking at the Message Bible for this verse and they state it as “a willingness to stick with things”. That definitely piqued my interest so I decided and go back and read that whole section of scripture from the Message Bible. Here is how it is laid out:
22-23But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
23-24Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.
25-26Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.
I just found it so very interesting how it compares. Let’s look at it like this a side by side comparison.
NKJV – The Message
Love – affection for others.
Joy – exuberance for life
Peace – serenity
Longsuffering – a willingness to stick with things
Kindness – a sense of compassion in the heart
Goodness – a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people
Faithfulness – loyal commitments
Gentleness – not needing to force our way in life
Self-Control – able to marshal and direct our energies wisely
Doesn’t that put things in a little better perspective?
What really jumped out at me this time around though is the fact that in verse 26 Paul also tells us NOT to compare ourselves with each other or as the NKJV says to not envy each other. How many times have you compared yourself to those around you? How many times have you desired to have a gift that someone else has? How many times a day do you think if only I had that persons voice or that ones looks? Probably too many times to count. The thing is that God created each of us to fulfill a particular purpose and no one else can do it better than you can. Why? Because he created YOU for it. He had a plan for you since you were in the womb.
I myself have dealt with and still to this day continue to deal with confidence. My biggest problem is believing that someone else can do “it” better than me. Have you ever dealt with that? I have questioned many times why the Lord would give me the gifting’s that he gave me. It always seems to me that I should be one of those people who could get up on stage and sing my heart out in front of hundreds or even millions of people without being afraid. But I’m not one of those people. Yet God has given me gifting’s that eventually will have me up in front of a lot of people. But then I’m reminded that God takes even the most uninfluential people and uses them for HIS glory.
Through out the old testament and even into the new God used people that no one else would have ever thought to use.
* Moses – had a problem with speaking in front of a crowd (sounds familiar huh?)
* David – was the smallest of all his brothers
* Matthew – was a tax collector
* Paul – killed and persecuted the early Christians
* Timothy – was just a youth
And that is just some of the men in the Bible. We haven’t even mentioned the women that were used in the grand scheme of things.
* Deborah (prophetess)
* Ruth from which the line of David came
* Mary mother of Jesus
* Elizabeth mother of John the Baptist
Each of these people was used mightily of God. BUT not one of them was perfect. They were all human beings capable of making (and some did) mistakes. Some of them made mistakes so big we are surprised that God would even have touched them. I guess that is why I am so fascinated with Paul. I mean he messed up big time. He killed Christians and then he was converted and it took the Christians a little while to even believe that his conversion was real. I mean think about it. A man persecutes people and kills them for following Christ then he all of a sudden “changes”. I mean in today’s world we would definitely have a hard time believing that wouldn’t we? But he truly did. And God used him. He chooses to use me and he even chose to use YOU.
So don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t let people intimidate you and hinder you from doing what YOU have been called to do.
Well that has been a LONG post. Thank you for sticking with me as I shared what God put on my heart. I know it may be a lot of babbling but it may help someone. God speaks to me starting in one place and ending up in another. It makes sense to me. LOL
Please feel free to leave any comments or notes that you may have. (hugs)
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