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Monday, February 1, 2010

What's Inside?

If you squeeze a tube of toothpaste, what will come out? Applesauce? Unlikely. Yogurt? I don't think so. Cream cheese? I certainly hope not. What will come out? Toothpaste, of course. Why? Because that's what's inside.

What about us? When life gives us a squeeze, what comes out? The fruit of the Spirit? It should, but I'm afraid many times that's not the case. When life gives us a good squeeze, the result is often anger, bitterness, frustration, and discontentment. Why? Because unfortunately, that's what's inside us.

I once took a quiz on the fruit of the Spirit. The quiz listed all ten fruits with definitions and the numbers 1-10 out beside them. I had to evaluate myself and give myself a score on how evident the fruits were in my own life. One was the lowest, and ten was the highest. Sad to say, I couldn't give myself any 10's. Worse yet, I wasn't able to honestly give myself higher than a "6" on many of them. What an eye-opening experience that quiz was for me. I thought of myself as a good person, a nice girl, a true Christian. What I discovered was that my fruit was either dried and withered or it had never grown at all. Since that day, I've been striving to do better.

You see, it's not enough to "do" the right things. It must start on the inside. We must "think" the right things. We must "want" the right things. The Bible says that the mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart. In other words, whatever is on the inside is eventually going to find its way out. That's why it is so important that we fill our lives with the right things. After all, life is going to squeeze us from time to time. What comes out as a result of those squeezes is up to us (and it had better not be toothpaste).

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23

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