The Right Tools

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Have you ever tried to do a project around the house without the proper tools? It can be frustrating. You might even find yourself saying, “This would be so much easier if I just had the right tools!” The same is true in this life. The real world can be a cold hard place. You and I are faced with struggles in our families, with our finances, and with friends. We have challenges with anger, anxiety, and depression. Life can be tough, and without the right tools we can find ourselves bitter and broken.
The Bible tells us in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” These nine tools are all the bases of every wise and successful builder. With these tools we are equipped to handle any, “Project,” that comes our way.
Living life without the fruit of the Spirit, is like working on a project without the proper tools. Often we believe lies that keep us going back to the same old tools that just don’t work. Below is a list of tools we sometimes employ along with the lie associated with each.
Some of the tools we use when facing challenges in this life:
Avoid conflict at all cost. The lie: believing a false sense of peace is better than working through the conflict. The reality is true freedom comes from working through our differences.
• Stuff my pain and not allow others to know how I really feel. The lie: believing stuffing the pain will be easier than working through the conflict. The reality is the pain we stuff inside continually eats at us from the inside until we deal with it.
Try to make everyone happy at the expense of my own happiness. The lie: Believing I have to make everyone happy in order to feel acceptance, approval, and love. The reality is you are loved, accepted, and approved, by your heavenly Father and nothing else matters.
• Tell lies in an effort to avoid consequences. The lie: These lies will not hurt anyone. The reality is facing our failures is a bold and powerful step in personal growth.
Hide or check out, to avoid the pain. The lie: I can avoid the pain by this pursuit. The reality is this is a temporary solution which causes problems of its own.
Avoid people who have hurt me. The lie: If I avoid the problem I don’t have to deal with it. The reality is it will cause you emotional pain until you finally do deal with it.
Never allow the offender close to me again. The lie: Again, if I avoid the problem I don’t have to deal with it. The reality is it will cause you emotional pain until you finally do deal with it.
• Hide my true feelings about a person in an effort to keep the peace.
• Gossip about the offender. The lie: Getting even will help heal the hurt. The reality is the hurt remains and this only causes more problems.
Daydream about how you would love to get even with the offender. The lie: Again, Getting even will help heal the hurt. The reality is the hurt remains and this only causes more problems.
Get even with the offender by hurting them with your words.
Get even in a passive aggressive way. The lie: Again, Getting even will help heal the hurt. The reality is the hurt remains and this only causes more problems.
Physically hurt the person who hurt me. The lie: Again, Getting even will help heal the hurt. The reality is the hurt remains and this only causes more problems.
Use the threat of getting angry to get things to go my way. The lie: I can manipulate my way to peace. The reality is this is ineffective and ends up deeply hurting those we manipulate.
Seek to control the situation, or seek to control others in an effort to have things go my way. The lie: Again, I can manipulate my way to peace. The reality is this is ineffective and ends up deeply hurting those we manipulate.
Manipulate others to my advantage. The lie: Again, I can manipulate my way to peace. The reality is this is ineffective and ends up deeply hurting those we manipulate.
Act grumpy or cold in an effort to keep people from getting close. The lie: I can manipulate my way to peace. The reality is this is ineffective and ends up deeply hurting those we manipulate.
There is a better way of handling our hurts. There are better tools to use in these situations. The tools are the fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. Why not ask the Holy Spirit to grow these fruits in you today?
Father in Heaven, You are so great! I pray in Jesus Name, for Your power to be at work in me. Holy Spirit, come and fill me! Be my love, joy, and peace. Work out patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control in me I pray. I have used these other tools for so long Lord God. They have caused me nothing but frustration. Help me, I pray, choose to let the Holy Spirit work through me. Help me make the fruit of the Spirit the first tools I turn to in times of need. Gracious Lord, I love You. Thank You so much for loving me, being patient with me, and kind toward me. May my righteousness grow brighter and brighter until the full day! Amen!

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