Personal: Fruits of the Spirit 2February 20, 2011
My thoughts here are for my edification. I have definite opinions that are, for lack of better terms, of a conservative bent and will most likely offend on some level readers of this blog. My intent is not to offend. Nor is it to open up to debate my personal beliefs. If my beliefs cannot be respected, please do not continue reading this post and come back on another day.
Psalm 1:1-3 A person is blessed if they do not take counsel from wicked people, stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers. … Whatever he does prospers.
There is an Ad Council campaign out there on being “Above the Influence.” It is aimed teens but I have to ask, am I above the influence? Who do I surround myself with? What do I fill my time with? Am I as discerning as I should be?
I think it is a fine line to walk between living in the world and being of the world. How else can I be a legitimate positive influence on others if I do not interact? I think I’d like to define wicked. I don’t believe it just means say, an “unbeliever” or one who does not profess the same faith. I think that’s too broad. Think about who Moses got counsel from–his non-Israelite father-in-law. Melchizedek was not an Israelite and Jesus himself was described as a high priest of the order of Melchizedek.
So wicked has to be someone who could influence me to do wrong–the ad campaign is about drugs, alcohol, smoking. There could probably be ad campaigns for adults about all the ways we could cheat–on spouses, on taxes, on jobs. Are we above the influence?
Or could it be more insidious–making us accept what do not agree with or believe is morally right by putting it in our faces all the time and attacking us if we disagree and calling us closed-minded, bigots, haters, etc., etc. Am I being worn done by all the exposure in music, in TV, in the books I choose to read, in movies, or even in friends who don’t make faith a priority? As I posted in my first musing on the topic, a few friends have actually started looking into their faith.
Is that part of the litmus test, part of showing if I’m prosperous? Well, if I will be known by my fruits then of course if I influence others to change, then that is success. My children are healthy and relatively happy. T1 has already put on the Lord in baptism (though I do feel that’s just the beginning of the next stage so my job will never be done) and T2 is not far behind. I had accomplished all I set out to do with my college degree prior to children save one–writing a book. This blog is a stepping stone to that. DH and I just celebrated 15 years–that’s quite an accomplishment in this day and age by any standards!
But I have failed miserably at other things. I am a lousy home-based business operator. I start projects and burn out quickly and never finish. I know some of this is a lack of faith or even not really knowing God’s will. I really hope this study does not lose steam. Maybe just making it personal and taking the one bite at a time will help; and of course scheduling a post weekly should help too.
Jabez asked boldly for God to increase his land, protect him from the sorrow of evil, and bless him. God did and Jabez was listed as an honorable man. I want to be honorable. I want to ask boldly. I want to bear good fruit. I want to be the good counsel people seek so that they too will be blessed.
I have a long way to go.
**P.S. T2 put on the Lord in baptism for the remission of sins tonight. Oh Happy Day!