Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Good News, Bad News

A dose of good news is needed to offset a dose of bad news. I need to focus on things sometimes, not just give them a cursory glance. Sometimes when I read something important, I go back and read it again out loud or write it down and go over it a couple of times. This can really help me to better grasp an idea or to wrestle with something in a way that can give me the upper hand (at least intellectually). Passages from Galatians 5:19-24. (These ideas were inspired from Charles Swindoll's book, So You Want to be Like Christ?.)

The raw realities of sin (aka The Bad News):

... repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods, magic show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-comsuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community.

The sweet fruit of the Spirit (aka The Good News):

... affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way.