Walking in the fruit of the spirit
|Tanya M. Wilson is an inspirational speaker and writer living in Charlotte. Her column, "360 You," is published here each Saturday. Visit her website at www.360you.net.|
Life is comprised of many lessons, all designed to confirm us or grow us. Despite some repeat lessons in my life, they have all played a significant role in shaping who I am today.
For a number of years, I believed that everybody had my best interest at heart. Even within my circle of “sisters and brothers at the church,” I was quick to elevate those who spoke the name of the Lord or said something “godly.” I failed to realize that regardless of what is said, thought or done, we are all human beings subject to our own humanisms.
Matthew 7:18-20 focuses on “the fruit of the spirit,” a message that could be compared to a nugget of wisdom once shared by Maya Angelou, who said: “When people show you who they are, you must believe them.”
I didn’t do that. I continued to focus on what was being said. In many instances, as I look back, the truth was right before my eyes, but I wanted to believe otherwise.
I take responsibility for those times of disappointment, sadness and hurt. At those times, my thought process was faulty. I failed to remember the lessons of Matthew 7:18-20, as well as the wisdom of Maya Angelou.
Rather than curling into a fetal position and spending time being emotionally distraught, I should have taken the opportunity to model what the fruit of the spirit looks like.
Encounters that are rooted in those fruit -- love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance -- could heal a lot of wounded warriors.
I soon realized that change had to begin with me. Change meant that when faced with fruitless encounters, I needed to respond with fruit. Fruitless plus fruitless only equaled fruitless.
The lesson learned was that if I wanted to have a different experience, I had to boldly walk in the fruit for which I was searching. In doing that, there was a strong possibility that my example just might catch on.
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