Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sins of the Spirit

The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. Luke 15:28a NLT

Lord, today I was hurt and angry. When the one who hurt me extended friendship, I responded coolly. I was justified. After what “she” said, I had a right to treat her that way. After all Your Word does say people will reap what they sow. Who does “she” think “she” is making such condescending statements? And you know, Lord, what Your Word teaches about pride. She just oozes with her uppity ways. I haven’t done anything to deserve her cruel comments. In the long run, distancing myself will teach her a valuable lesson! Her behavior is unacceptable. I refuse to reward such dysfunction. After all, her attitude doesn't bring honor to You. I certainly don’t want to enable her. I’ve settled it once and for all. I am right. No doubt about it. There is no need in discussing it further. I am positively... positively... positively miserable.

Why am I in such unrest, Lord? How is it possible that I can I be right and yet be so wrong?

In the depths of my soul, I discern “I” am part of the problem. “I” am like the prodigal son’s older brother, who wouldn’t go in because of his heart was diseased with anger and hurt. The Holy Spirit gives me a much-needed diagnosis -- sins of the spirit; a spiritual malady, which can render the patient powerless to love. Many times manifestations can be masked and difficult to detect, but only for a short time. Eventually, everyone will notice their lovelessness. If not given a biblical antidote of love and humility, the disease can spread to vital organs of the soul.

Symptoms include:
• Polite coolness when friendship is available
• Consumed with proving your point
• Touchiness, sensitivity
• Needing to persuade others to embrace your point of view
• Loving your opinions more than you love people

“Forgive me, Lord. I’ll righten my wrong. Life is too short for me to nurse this grudge. Help me to not be like the older brother and refuse a relationship. Help me respond in a way that brings glory and honor to You.”

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