Good descriptions of patience and self-control

Even though I’m not a fan of that foot-loose and fancy-free paraphrase called The Message, I happened across a couple of items in it I thought were good.

Mr. Peterson, the author of the work, describes patience, in Galatians’ fruit of the Spirit, as “a willingness to stick with things,” and self-control as being “able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.”

Those seem to be fairly good depictions, the latter one especially, as far as they go.

Also, from the two descriptions, it’s possible to see that a relationship exists between the two.

How would you qualify these descriptions of the two qualities that the Spirit of God produces in the saint?

#bible-versions, #fruit-of-the-spirit, #patience, #self-control


“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near” Philippians 4:5.

Every parent has probably come upon a heated exchange between his or her kids and, instead of charging in, has listened to gather facts and see if they will work it out in a good way. Often, it is the aggressor who finds that the other is not being the pushover that he had hoped and, upon seeing the parent, immediately pleads for help and intervention.

Wrong-spiritedness is common among adults too—and sadly among brothers and sisters who are supposed to be imitating Christ, who was the gentle Lamb led to the slaughter.

Just a few verses before this, Paul pleads with two Christian sisters, “who had contended at [his] side in the cause of the gospel” and may have not have been bearing the spiritual fruit of gentleness with each other. But Paul is not the parent here but only the brother who is saddened by their ungentle spirit.

Oh, how the rest of the body is affected as well as our message to a lost world when we are harsh with one another! But, more than that, Paul appeals to our heavenly Father who “is near” and always watching.

Is the spiritual fruit of your gentleness evident to all?

Doug Kashorek

Plattsburgh church of Christ

author of Kin of Cain

a Christian historical fantasy

#christian-virtues, #fruit-of-the-spirit, #gentleness

The Joy of the Baptized

Joy exploded through my mind as I burst from immersion in the baptistry that evening. I submitted to Christ in baptism decades ago, but memory of that burst of joy remains clear. No one told me to expect that experience. I’ve noticed that many others seem extremely happy after baptism. Sometimes, their expression of joy even makes some people uncomfortable. However, converts in the book of Acts experienced joy also when they obeyed Christ in baptism.

An Ethiopian government official, returning from worshiping God in Jerusalem, read from the prophet Isaiah as his chariot bumped along the road to Gaza. He did not understand all that he read; however, a passerby joined him and explained how the difficult passages pointed to a man recently executed in Jerusalem, a man that the official’s passenger said had risen from the dead and was God’s Messiah. As the official listened, he learned that immersion in water was part of joining the Messiah’s cause. He noticed a body of water nearby. “Look, here is water,” he said, “what hinders me from being baptized?” After the chariot stopped, he and his passenger went down into the water and the passenger baptized him. Afterwards, the passenger left him, the official went on his way rejoicing (see Acts 8:36-39).

The official was not unique in his experience of post-conversion joy. A prison guard, awakened by an earthquake that he was sure had freed all his prisoners, learned from two of his prisoners (all had remained in the prison) about this same Messiah, Jesus. After cleansing his prisoners’ wounds, he too was baptized. Then “the jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God – he and his whole family” (Acts 16:34).

The Apostle Paul wrote to converts in Thessalonica and recalled, “You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” (1Thessalonians 1:6). This passage makes clear that this joy would continue, but that it would not erase suffering. Christians would still encounter difficulties, some because they had confessed Jesus as Lord, but they would retain hope because of their newfound capacity for joy.

Galatians 5:22-25 identifies joy among the fruit of the Spirit that identifies those who keep in step with the Spirit because they remain faithful to Christ. Life as a disciple of Jesus may become difficult sometimes because we forget our baptism and the joy we felt as someone brought us up from the water, cleansed from guilt, forgiven of sin, and added by God to Christ’s church. Like the government official, the jailer, Paul and the Thessalonian Christians, remember your baptism. Imitate Christ and faithful Christians. As Paul wrote to another congregation in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. and the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-6).

#baptism, #conversion, #discipleship, #fruit-of-the-spirit, #gift-of-the-holy-spirit, #joy, #suffering

How love grows within us (Doug Kashorek)

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” Ephesians 4:2.

We’ve explored why the greatest of gifts God gave us is love. Now we must see how love grows within us as a fruit of the Spirit. All around the North Country, we’ll soon see trees in full blossom. It will be many months, though, until itinerants will fill totes with apples. The same goes for the fruits of the Spirit. That’s why we are to be humble, gentle, and patient with others–bearing with one another in love. ‘Bearing with one another’ implies a perseverance that has built up over time. I still remember tearing up the day I’d read a former student whom I’d had years earlier was hurt in a motorcycle wreck. Though he had made my first year of teaching a true trial by fire, I had worked with him a lot … and, I guess, grown to love him – enough so that the mention of his name made the decade disappear. I suppose that that was the love of the father, who, filled with compassion, ran to his son. While we are the prodigal in that parable and not to be the older brother, the fruit of love growing in us is to be like his for others that we need to bear with.

How’s the fruit of love growing within you?

Doug Kashorek

Plattsburgh church of Christ

author of Kin of Cain

a Christian historical fantasy

#devotionals, #fruit-of-the-spirit, #love


Patience is a part of the fruit of the Spirit. Patience is also a two-edged sword…or at least a two-way street. There’s patience that we need to show to others, but then there’s the patience we need to have with our self.

There’s nothing wrong with having expectations. In a roundabout way there’s almost everything right with having them. The danger comes from having expectations that go above and beyond what’s reasonable.

I don’t expect my daughter to know how to do math right now – she still has to get a grasp on saying her numbers. For me to expect anything else would be ridiculous. She needs time. She needs to be taught. She needs patience and so do I! Is it a contradiction to put a “!” next to the word patience?

Along those same lines we need to be patient with those whose knowledge about Jesus isn’t as great as our own. We should encourage others to study, we should encourage others to look to Jesus for their example and we should be ready to help if needed, but we must remember that at the beginning people need to learn to take “baby steps” as they learn about the gospel.

At the same time we need to remember to have patience with our self. I know we’re not promised tomorrow, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’s true that there is huge peril in not progressing, but there can also be huge peril in being too hard on one’s self. Patience is not an excuse for sin, but there is no sin in having or showing patience. In many ways patience shows maturity for maturity owns up but does not quit.

The Bible is too clear to miss the importance of spiritual expectations, but the Bible is also just as clear when it comes to the importance of spiritual patience. Patience is a virtue that carries a lot of “wait” but patience is what God shows us so we can show it towards others.

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14)

PS: In a ironic turn of events, for some reason the title of “Patience” won’t post at the top of this article – even after I tried five times.

#christian-maturity, #christianity, #expectations, #fruit-of-the-spirit, #patience, #spiritual-growth

The definition of spirituality

The definition of spirituality can be defined by looking at Gal 5:22-23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” The Spirit of God will help us manifest these traits in the life of the Christian as we walk in the Spirit. Therefore one who develops and manifest these traits would thus show spirituality, as they come from the Spirit, having been planted into our spirit.

#fruit-of-the-spirit, #spiritual-growth, #spirituality