Tag Archives: Galatians 5:22-24



carefully maintained,

numbered, categorized,

individually tabbed,

multi-colored, and so carefully preserved.

All of this for a vitality important task.

Each to be rehashed and remembered.

A record of wrongs, when opened it tears away any shred of healing , causing the sufferer to stare back into the wound.

Lists to cement into the consciousness the horrible experiences brought about by the hands of others’ sin.

This is what the enemy and our own flesh does with the wrongs committed against us.

Before one even understands the danger, they drag these lists with them, as a constant reminder to the pain they’ve experienced.

Wouldn’t it all just be fixed if they knew, really knew how they’d hurt us?

If they just apologized or better yet if they changed…

Maybe it’s such a severe thing, pain cries out for punishment, because their sin ruined…

But wait.

Stop the self-centered pity and see what God has to say.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
1 Corinthians 13:4‭-‬5 NIV

When our flesh and the lies of the enemy tempt us to refuse true forgiveness by keeping a list of wrongs, we are not loving.

When we choose to drag around our invisible list of things which have “happened to me”, we are refusing God’s healing and trading it for misery.

Bitterness eats at the soul, slowly, but surely.

It refuses comfort.

It repeals reconciliation.

It denies truth.

The only one who has a right to judge another is the one who has done nothing wrong.

1 Peter 2:22 KJV — Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

Jesus, alone is the One, the rest of mankind is guilty.

Romans 3:23 KJV — For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

What bitterness denies is the truth that no one has a right to judge the sinful acts of another, because we are each one guilty before God.

Only through the forgiveness of sins can we be cleansed and then stand in righteousness.

Love doesn’t simply ignore sin.

Shrugging the shoulders and responding with, “Hey, we’re all sinners, so oh well.”

Rather it understands the price of sin, revers the One who paid for sin, and looks to mend the brokenness caused by sin.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:6‭-‬7 NIV

Love builds relationships where bitterness tears them down.

Love offers reconciliation, where bitterness refuses to be vulnerable, hiding behind the lie that it’s only wise to protect one’s self.

Love looks first at Jesus and all He did, all He suffered, all He forgave, and says “I will follow His example”.

Bitterness simply looks at the pain, replaying the injustice, reopening the festering heart to accusations, blame, and anything else which would rob the soul of all Christ has.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Matthew 6:14‭-‬15 NIV

Let us, each one, recognize the incredible mercy of God and His love towards us.

Let’s throw away lists of wrong, keeping in step with love and shutting out the enemy of our souls.

For bitterness is simply a tool of the wicked one, and our Savior destroyed all the power of the enemy when He rose from the grave.

Let’s replace those lists with ones from God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22‭-‬25 NIV

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
1 Corinthians 13:4‭-‬8 NIV

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:8‭-‬9 NIV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your love and forgiveness. Lord Jesus, we are so blessed to have Your mercy and grace. Your salvation is awesome. Only through You do we find healing from hurt, restoration from things lost, fullness from lack, and relationship from separation. You reached through all that sin had accomplished to destroy me and plucked my heart out of the mire, placing me in peace, comfort, and security in Your holy name and the works of Your righteousness. Truly, there is none like You. Truly, Your Word is life and Your way is the only way. Truly, Your love is true love. Please make me into Your image. Restore what sin has stolen and teach me how to walk in Your ways, following after Your truth, loving as You do. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

A dry sponge

I’d known him and his wife since I was 14.

The man who spoke wasn’t preaching.

Rather, he was relating his own story.

The reason I’d met them was their service at church.

Although his wife was severely handicapped, due to a major stroke, she was the church greeter.

She’d smile and hand out bulletins.

Which was difficult, because she only had one hand which worked well.

By the time our kids were born her health had deteriorated to the point of requiring her to be in a motorized chair.

She still passed out bulletins and smiled at each person.

I’d always been impressed at how patient and helpful her husband was.

Due to the stroke and other health issues, the woman didn’t always understand what was going on around her.

More than once they would have to leave the service to accommodate her needs.

As I was listening to her husband, I cradled one of our children in my arms and kept an eye on her sister who was busy coloring.

I didn’t want to miss anything as he shared his own story.

They had not been married very long before she had the stroke and became a different person.

He’d been faithfully supporting and caring for her for many years.

He talked about how God got his attention to what he was like on the inside.

“You know a sponge, one that’s dry, can look clean and even unused from the outside. It’s only when it’s squeezed that you see what’s really inside the sponge. God taught me long ago, He uses hard things to show us what’s inside.

He’s right.

Difficult circumstances show us what our hearts are full of.

For this gentle man, his constant service to his handicapped wife have squeezed him daily.

He finished up his story by admitting at first what came out was anger, resentment, and self-pity, but as he surrendered to God he found the Lord steadily replacing those things with love, compassion, diligence, and long suffering.

His life was and is an inspiration to me and my husband.

The example of the dry sponge has come to mind many times throughout my life.

This morning included.

The Lord encourages my heart through the truth that difficult circumstances show us what’s inside.

I want to have God’s fruit be the things which flow out of this heart, especially when I’m squeezed.

Galatians 5:22-24 NKJV — But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Galatians 5:25 NKJV — If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

May each of us who follow Christ Jesus find inspiration in difficult circumstances, for God is using each one to reveal the condition of our hearts.

1 Peter 4:12-13 NKJV — Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your truth. Thank You for squeezing me, to reveal my heart. Lord, I don’t want to be a hypocrite and I know if I am unaware of the condition of my heart I am one. Lord, please continue to replace those things which are not of You with the fruit of Your Spirit. Please continue to use things in life to make me more focused on You each day. Lord, thank You for reminding me of this dear man and his wife. Please continue to bless them and keep them. Thank You that we can rejoice even in the fiery trials. Amen.