Know Where To Cut Me With Your Eyes Closed
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.This is one of the most backwards sayings that I can think of. I can’t remember a stone or a stick that injured me as clearly as I remember vivid details of having my heart verbally cut out of my chest by someone I cared for. We are armed with an arsenal of attack options for the ones closest to us. One word and we can drop them like a trained sniper. One push of a button and we can set them off like a demolition expert. The worst part is sometimes we like it. We can get a kick out of the precision cut we just laid on them. We get a feeling of victory or we just bust it out to remind them we still remember. When we are around the ones we love and trust the real US appears. No guard up. No fake smiles. No need to put up pretenses. Too many times this is when we allow our flesh to slip through. When we allow ourselves to hurt people and we have that sense of “oh yeah I know that one hurt” we are allowing that sinful nature to inject hostility or jealousy into our relationships.
One of the only tangible ways I know to see spiritual growth is the growth and spreading of noticeable fruit and weeds in our lives. In Galatians chapter 5 a well-known chunk of that chapter is called the fruit of the spirit.
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
These are the tangible things we can notice becoming more of a result in our emotions and lives when we are lead by the Holy Spirit. We should strive to make these fruit the norm in every situation in our lives. We do not start like that though. We do not begin our walk with God or our relationships with an orchard of beautiful fruit. First, we have to kill some weeds and pull out some roots.
A famous man by the name of G.I. Joe once said “Knowing is half the battle.’ Well, here ya go. How will the enemy attack your relationships and cause your fruit to wither and die, or never grow at all. We need to look no further than the prior three verses
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties (orgies), and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
The knowledge of the fruit and the weeds is the beginning of what could be a beautiful garden. Some of these weeds are pretty glaring I mean sexual immorality, drunkenness, orgies I mean you and other people would know if you are participating in these lol. What about the more common subtle ones? Hostility? Jealousy? Selfish ambition? These are all weeds that hide amongst the grass. They can have us justifying things that we know are wrong. These are just as dangerous as the glaring ones. They can root in and control you like Poison Ivy from Batman. These “small” weeds can put major strain on your relationships. As a husband I can let something as small as washing dishes become a silent war where we both know what the other is thinking (I’m not doing it it is their turn)…and then whoever does initially cave and does the dishes now constantly reminds the other the sacrifice that was made. Maybe we are the only ones that have those issues but, I doubt it. We play these mind games out of selfish motives and hostility. That is the kind of stuff we have to get out of our lives the more we kill and pull weeds the more our fruit can breath and receive replenishment.
The Spirit sets itself against the flesh and the flesh against the spirit. The more we feed one the weaker the other becomes. The more we tend to our garden the fruitier it will be. Instead of selfish motives and hostility we need to react with kindness and self-control. The next time I feel that feeling of SERIOUSLY DISHES AGAIN?! creeping up. Instead of going into a total passive aggressive state of war I say to myself dude…it’s your wife she has been working today too. Just do the dishes it takes like ten minutes, plus she’s your wife. So I say Honey or baby or whatever I got the dishes tonight just chill watch some TV. And I do them…not with spite or malice or for something to hold over her. But, I do it because she is important to me and I care for her. Then you will feel a similar victory feeling as before only this time no one was hurt, except your flesh and you won’t have a remorseful feeling after the fact. This is hard…really hard. Denying ones self is never easy… Mark 8:34 If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. By using the fruit of the spirit and the weeds of the flesh as a compass (if we are honest with ourselves) we can see and feel the spiritual and relational growth in our lives. Instead of slicing each other to pieces with hateful and vengeful records of wrongs let us mend with understanding and cultivate with love.