I get a chance every day hundreds of times to live out what I’m experiencing and what I write here. Although I’ve been unexpectedly and lavishly and frequently blessed in so many ways over these last two years, I find it takes lots of “practice” to deal with the troubles I face in my life. My first instinct is often to “work on it” or “fix it”.
Picture this. Say an important relationship in my life is in trouble, causing me sadness, anger and fear. So, in this state of sadness, anger and fear, I often launch off to talk to the person to work it out. Often, our discussion may move into something of an argument. I somehow still believe, after having failed with this approach so many times, that I’m going to get the peace and joy my soul requires by talking and “working out” the problem by trying to restore the relationship to wholeness. Wrong. I want to grow out of this approach. And I know I will.
My friends, it is not “my work” to, with a heavy or fearful or angry heart, to work out the problem. That person, whomever it may be, and the relationship we have, is NOT and was never intended to be the source of my peace and joy. I’ve tried that all my life.
Instead, I’m practicing turning to The Source of all Fruit of the Spirit, meditating on how loved I am by Him, how perfect I am in His sight, how He is SOOOO anxious to bless my socks off every moment of every day, how I’m His favorite person (tied with you and everyone else, BTW), how protected I am. Or perhaps I watch a video/sermon by a good teacher to re-teach me about God’s Grace. Or perhaps I read the same teachings on a good blog.
With my wants and needs all restored, with my sadness, anger and fear gone, with peace and joy in my soul, I’m then, and ONLY then, prepared to approach the other person to offer this same Grace to them. But, this is not an interaction born of my “lack”, my need. It’s not an attempt to “use” the other person to get my needs met. It’s born of the OVERFLOW of the peace, joy and exhilaration I already have inside me that can spill and splash onto and all over the other person. This, gang, is True Love, which is a Fruit of the Spirit, not generated by my human effort to get what I need.