EmotionsEmotions play a huge role in our daily life whether we want to admit it or not. I’m generally an out going happy person with an eccentric sense of humor. It comes out in my teaching as well. But I have a aversion to see men cry in church. I wasn’t raised like that and my dad didn’t tolerate things like that, unless someone died. He didn’t even cry when his mother and father died. We don’t know the battles in a person’s head, nor the range of emotions that ebb and flow. At times, the Christian may find it easy to argue a religious point of view because of hurt pride or religious indignation rather than let the person or subject alone. It does not mean that the other person is right or that the Christian is committing some sort of sin by not defending. Neither does it imply that if the person does not speak up that they are a religious hypocrite. Believe me I’ve been through enough where I can say that there is a difference! So, where does the work come in ?
The bible mentions In Galatians chapter 5:18-25 the works of the flesh which are evident and all carnal. One of the points that is missed in all the pithy posters and pictures in Sunday school, and the internet is variance.
VarianceVariance is defined as a state of disagreement, usually in law and is synonymous with a quarrel, debate and strife. The amplified bible refers to a party spirit and factions. These are all things that lead to several of the negative stereotypes that people use against going to Church or staying away from Christianity. This stereotype pains me.
The works and fruits of the spirit are what we expect to see and are required to produce in Christians revolve around love for God. The principal one I refer to is an even temper and self restraint. They are some of the hardest things to produce at times, because when we know were “right” we want everyone else to know. I have heard several explanations of why the Karate Katas are taught and what they mean. I no longer discuss them nor engage in arguments about them. Firstly, I’m just one of Sensei Wilcox’s black belts and secondly I only wish to learn and improve. I have also found out (the hard way) not to argue about certain doctrines in the church that will never yield anything but hurt feelings and arguments. Why? I won’t change their mind, and I’m not their pastor!
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As a Christian I may bloom faster in some areas (speaking of the fruit of the spirit) than others, but what about the opposite? I may be slower in other areas as well! if you look closely at a true Christian you will see Christ‘s image; we just tend to get in the way of the progress. It is usually what a person on the outside and what they are looking for that determines the stereotype that society is accustomed to seeing.
The same crowd likes to say “Hey…. Don’t judge me.. The bible says ‘thou shalt not judge!’ … you hypocrites!” but aren’t they doing that as well (judging)?
We must operate in love, first for ourselves. What I mean by this is not setting an impossible standard and when it is not met letting that standard devolve into self hatred. We must also operate in love for those on the outside; whether it be fellow Christians or those that don’t know Jesus. Consider the fact that we have weaknesses and faults as well. The fact of the matter is it takes WORK. Part of working on ourselves is knowing ourselves and being gracious to others around us as well.