But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, against such things there is no law.”
Reading a local paper recently, I came across a “Dear Abby” column. I hadn’t read one in years—didn’t know the column still existed. She asked her readers what they thought was the main problem in society today. In a nutshell, these were the responses she received.
- Lack of personal responsibility
- Greed. A “What’s in it for me” attitude.
- Breakdown of the family
- Personal isolation
- No respect, no discipline, no courtesy and no consideration of others.
These responses remind me of what the Bible (in the Message version) says in Galatians 5:19-21
“It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.
Those verses explains it all so clearly. When we try to get our own way, our society crumbles. We are all sinners — have a sinful nature and tend toward selfishness. There is only one solution. A changed heart and that is why we need God. When we have the Holy Spirit within us, controlling our lives, He will change us into “other centered” people. He produces in us:
- faithfulness and self-control.
What a relief to know that we can change—the Holy Spirit will change us from the inside.
The Bible tells us:
“Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Cor 5:17
One day the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to the truth in Philippians 2:13,
“For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
God is changing me and He can change you– He even helps us want to change.
I encourage you today, right now, to ask to God to take control of the throne of your life. Together we can help change society. There is hope. People don’t know that Jesus can change them. We can tell them.
Pass it on
It only takes a spark to get a fire going,
And soon all those around can warm to its glowing,
That’s how it is with God’s love, once you’ve experienced it:
You spread His love to every one; you want to pass it on.
Here is a prayer you can say:
Father, I ask you to take control of my life and change my heart. Make me the kind of person that reflects the Spirit of Christ; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. I give my heart to you today and everyday from now on. And then help me look for opportunities to share this good news with others. Amen.
For further reading on this subject go to: The Spirit Filled Life.