Yesterday, I earned an F in love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Yup, all of the fruit of the Spirit. I was mean to people I love, I was impatient and harried, I was inefficient and harsh. nice, huh? Oh, I am so proud of myself. not. I let the circumstances of the day just bind me, and I ended the day in tears, disappointed in me and in my behavior, and in my stupid stupid heart.
Now, I could go on and on about my cramps (sorry, gentlemen), the ants in my kitchen, my ridiculous schedule, and all the inconveniences I've had to endure these last few days. I could tell you how I can justify my behavior in a number of ways, and I just know ya'll are so sweet, you'd let me. You'd say how I need to not be so tough on myself, how I need to lighten up, how we all have bad days. I'd walk away feeling better, and loved, and I'd sinfully let myself keep in the corner of my heart the little secret that I think I'm justified in my behavior.
A wise woman once told me "just because you're right, doesn't mean you get to behave badly." Totally changed my life- no longer can I let the fact that I can come up with reasons for my sinful actions quench the actual conviction of the Holy Spirit. Oh, I still mess up... BIG, all.the.time...but it's impossible these days to get to the "I WAS WRONGED! I TOTALLY DESERVED TO BEHAVE LIKE THAT!" place in my heart where I can sin and still feel good about it. When I think of the horrid things that Jesus endured while He was on earth, how He totally was beyond wronged, and how He still did not behave badly, well... I know I've got no real case for being rotten, ever.
So, my friends, I'm afraid I'm going to have to take the grade I deserve. I'll use it for what it's intended for- to change my behavior in the future. I am so blessed to know I don't have to be a nasty rag just because my hormones and my circumstances say so. I'll find joy in this experience as I let God use it to grow me, and as He gives me another F... the one I don't deserve... Forgiveness.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
Romans 8:1-3 (NLT)
Romans 8:1-3 (NLT)