Do you ever have one of those days that causes you to just wish you could have a do-over? A rewind button or a pause button that allowed you to react the way you know you should have, but you didn’t?
I can’t count how many times I’ve wished I could. Like those moments when I snap at my children for the slightest things or when my voice goes up some decibels. I know that I’m supposed to exhibit self-control. I know that “a gentle answer turns away wrath” and “a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov 15:1). But, when I let my emotions rule instead of God’s Spirit, I do not act the way I should.
“Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth,” said Jesus (Matt 5:5). Meekness means humility and gentleness. I noticed today in Galatians 5:22-23, where we find the list of the fruit of the Spirit, that I have always memorized “gentleness” though the KJV says “meekness.” Honestly, I did not know that they were synonyms. It is always neat to learn something new.
I think the world needs more of this fruit, but it is not my job to judge the world. That is God’s job (1 Cor 5:12-13). My job is to grow in the fruit of the Spirit, which is what everyone who calls themselves part of the body of Christ is supposed to do. So, if we are to be gentle/meek/humble, why do we have so many contentions within the body?
Being honest with God to the point of being blunt is perfectly okay with him – even to the point of being uncharitable.
"Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21 NKJV) These were the words of Martha after the death of her brother Lazarus had, and she spoke these words to the Son of God himself. If you read her comments with the proper inflection, you can sense her frustration. Jesus had failed to hurry to their side when he learned of Lazarus’ sickness. They had sent for him days before (verse 3), but John, when presenting these facts, strangely juxtaposes two sentences: “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that he was sick, he stayed two more days in the place where he was.” (John 11:5-6 NKJV)
Faith is a gift from God. It is not something we create ourselves (Eph 2:8-9). God gives us a measure of faith (Rom 12:3), and I believe that God allots us more faith as we grow in Christ. I do not think that we are stuck with the measure we receive when we first believe.
When I look at Abraham, the father of faith, I see a man whose faith grew. I know that it took a lot of faith to leave his homeland and to follow an unseen God to an unknown place (Gen 12). He had a measure of faith; I’m sure it was given to him by God since God never changes.