Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
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Monday, July 26, 2010 @ 5:30:00 AM - Written by Doug Hignell -

Prior to my new life in Jesus some 35 years ago my life was miserable. I was selfish, joyless, loveless, lacked compassion and self-control and peace was extremely illusive. I doubt that I exhibited any of the nine fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5. With my new life it didn’t take long to realize that I lacked Godly characteristics. As a "make it happen type of person", I began to work hard to exhibit these characteristics. Slowly I became a kinder and gentler person, which I attributed to the diligent efforts I was making to change rather than the work of the Holy Spirit in me.

Though I believe strongly in spiritual disciplines I have recently become more aware that it is the Holy Spirit, not my striving, that is bringing about the changes. Speaking about the fruit of the Spirit, Phillip Yancy says:

"These qualities, I came to realize, cannot be constructed. They must be grown, under the direction of an inner power, the Spirit. I have since made it a regular practice to pray through the list in Galatians….Do I show love, experience joy, feel peace, exhibit patience? I am humbly aware that any progress in those qualities comes as a result of the Spirit’s work. I agree with J. Heinrich Arnold that Christian discipleship 'is not a question of our doing; it is a matter of making room for God so that he can live in us.'"  [Phillip Yancy, Back Page column, Christianity Today, October 25, 1999 (104)]

I am challenged by the Amplified Bible translation of Galatians 5:22:


"But the fruit of the Holy Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." Gal. 5:22-23

Do I want to exhibit increased Godly character in my life? I am realizing that intimacy, learning to "live in His Presence", is much more profitable than striving to change myself. This continues to be a difficult lesson for me. Striving comes more naturally!



This is what I am going after this year. I have my balcony and my bible, both a gift from Him. :)
keli Schoon @ 12:37:00 AM 8/7/2010

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