But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this. Galatians 5:22-23 CEB
BY REV. DUANE D. LARSON - SPIRIT LAKE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
I must confess that I no longer listen to talk radio of any kind, or watch much news on the TV. I found myself irritated, agitated and downright grumpy from listening to people argue and tear other people down. I'm pretty sure that my irritation, agitation and grumpiness were pretty apparent to those who know me best. You can't hide forever what's inside you. So I gave up those things that were causing me so much stress.
Instead, I committed myself to daily giving thanks to God for all my blessings and to being relentlessly hopeful. My intake now reflects these things. I haven't forgotten that much of what happens in this world is not God's will, but I've learned to look for the places were God's will is being done and for the people through whom God is working. I pray that I will be an instrument through which God's will can be done. I'm not grumpy anymore.
It is said that you cannot know the motivation of people or what's truly in their hearts, and there's truth in this. But, all of our lives bear “fruit”. This fruit is visible for all to see, you can't hide forever what's inside you. The Apostle Paul reminds us that while we cannot see the Spirit of God, it does leave marks on us. The marks come in the form of fruit — like love, joy, peace — and they will show.
Such things are very noticeable in a world filled with hate and anxiety. Perhaps the greatest witness we can have to the power of the Risen Christ is to be at peace in an anxious world, to live in the face of hate, to be kind in the midst of cruelty. Like Paul says, “there's no law against these things,” so let them flow like a mighty river out the abundant grace that God has provided. You can't hide forever what's in you.