How do you know when you’ve grown up? One sure sign is your ability to control your tongue.
Fruit of the Spirit
How can we know if we’re really making progress in our spiritual walk? After all, the Bible offers no prescribed checklist of duties to perform that prove we’ve “arrived” as mature believers. But a list provided by Paul in Galatians 5:22–23 does offer proof both to ourselves and to those around us that the Spirit of God who dwells within us controls our thoughts and actions.
And that’s the catch. We can’t produce such fruit on our own—even with the most sincere effort. We can’t fake this fruit either. Rather, the fruit of the Spirit is a supernatural result of yielding to the Holy Spirit. Once we’re exhibiting the pure, holy fruit of the Spirit, the contrast is stark between those who are filled with the Spirit and those who obey the deeds of the flesh, as seen in Paul’s other list in verses 19-21! When we exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, all the glory goes to God.
In Hebrew the word “integrity” means an unimpaired condition. Another word is “solid.” A person with integrity is not divided or devious.
Greed is a desire for more. More power, more pleasure, more money, more stuff. But the more greed in your life the more it robs you of peace, joy, and contentment.
Greed is covetousness. It’s an inordinate desire to acquire more and more. Greed is always in a hurry. It knows little of patience or integrity or appropriateness. It is seldom admitted and is often rationalized.
While you can’t always control what happens, you can control your response. Your choice of attitude is the single most significant decision you can make on a daily basis. Positive responses develop patience, perseverance, and self-control.
Joy is a choice but it’s also essential to your well-being. Joy doesn’t depend upon circumstances, money, good looks, or a great job. It comes from deep within.
A new possession may give us fleeting pleasure but not lasting joy. Joy is a choice. It’s a decision we make to be happy regardless of external circumstances.
The word “addiction” typically makes us think of alcohol, cigarettes, or illegal drugs. But in this message, Chuck Swindoll will describe another kind of addiction…that’s far more subtle, yet just as enslaving. In fact, you might be an addict and not even know it!
In our shame-prone culture, parents, bosses, teachers, and many pastors consciously or subconsciously urge people to connect their significance to what they produce. How much better to respect and honour others—even when they fail to measure up to expectations, or “blow it” big time!
We all have special gifts and abilities from God. While it's good to venture out of our comfort zones, here's a humorous illustration of why we shouldn’t force people to go too far outside the area of their gifting.