My spirit man was definitely not producing a sweetness. For years I had responded to life in the wrong way. I had, of course, heard and even learned about the fruit of the Spirit. You don’t grow up in the church without being taught about that! But I had a foolish habit of ignoring the application of it to my life, more accurately, the way I reacted to my life.
The Way I Was
Growing up I was toughened in my spirit since I ignored the moments he wanted to shape me. I said what I wanted, and my speech wasn’t tactful. I frequently put my foot in my mouth long before I knew it. I argued with my parents and my brother and the friends that I could keep. When I was asked to help with something at home I whined or did it with a bad attitude. My sour responses had taken over my life and was so thoroughly ingrained that I could not see myself.
What robbed the sweetness? Hatred, depression, worry, impatience, harshness, anger, pride… Every time I reacted with one of these my spirit was turning sour, until one day I was known only for my selfishness. I think I left a bad taste in others’ mouths more than I didn’t.
A New Concept
After the day that I came back to Jesus and truly started surrendering my ways for His, the Lord used my dear mom to introduce a concept that was foreign to me: sweetness of spirit. I was finally ready to “find out what is acceptable to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8-10 NKJV). I wasn’t happy with myself.
I had bitterly held up the mirror and was sickened by the reflection of my soured spirit mocking me.
“When bitterness is exhausted sweetness will follow.” ~Author unknown
I asked God to change me to produce His fruit of the Spirit.
Fruit will ripen to just that perfect sweetness, leaving a delectable taste in your mouth. Just like eating a good piece of fruit means happy taste buds, I wanted my life to leave a good taste in your mouth.
Unpacking the Application
It takes a humbleness to admit we are in need of change. I want to encourage you to be swift to hear the Spirit right now and slow to speak any excuses that may be coming to mind. (So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20 NKJV) Ask Him to show you if you are responding to the people, events, and circumstances in your life the way He wants you to respond.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance… (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV).
Are you willing to ask Him what is an acceptable response in your life? What do you want the impression of your life to be?
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