I Picked the Right Study
Well, God confirmed that I had chosen wisely this morning. Beth Moore mentioned childbirth on the second page of Day 1. It’s a sign, I tell you.
Consider this: Initially Paul preached to the Israelites. But what happened? They rejected his teaching from Christ. Acts 13:46 records,
“Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: ‘We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles’.”
(Now don’t get on your high horses, remember this had to happen so that BOTH Jews and Gentiles could hear the good news. God isn’t finished yet. See Romans 11).
The Word of the Lord continued to be spread throughout the region of Galatia despite persecution. Guess the funny little place where persecution was stirred up in? (Girls, may the Good Lord help us.)
And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region. But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 13:49-52)
The women were stirred up! What happens when a woman gets stirred up? That tongue gets to wagging.
That probably never happens to you, though.
Guess who else had a problem controlling her tongue? Remember Eve? (Genesis 3:1)
Us women, we have a lot of influence. We can accomplish a lot with a few choice words, a look, a certain outfit, a pout, or the batting of an eyelash. With this influence and power, God gave US the duty of bringing other little tongue waggers [forgive me if this really isn’t a word] (and warriors) into this world. It is no accident that God gave us this job BECAUSE we do use influence so well. That is HOW He created us.
To quote Beth,
“For better or worse, your self-esteem has probably been influenced most at the hands—and mouth—of your own mother. How do you use the fearful gift of influence? At its best, it teaches, nurtures, encourages, exhorts, evangelizes and discples. At worst, it cripples and kills. The line between influence and manipulation is extremely fine. Influence is so easy to use it is frightening. Maybe it’s the reason God exhorts us to ‘gentle and quiet’ spirits. We need to think before we speak and act.”
As I was saying above, I really do see wisdom in studying Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit for such a time as this. I am soon going to be a mom of four. Four. Four.
There is going to be much demanded of me. Much to sacrifice. Many things to have patience with. Battles to be waged with prayer. And tongues to be tamed.
I struggle to demonstrate the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I am almost the extreme opposite of these character traits, at times. I am a feisty, passionate, and stubborn dreamer.
Who has a lot of influence.
So maybe, like Paul, who discovered that despite persecution–joy and the Holy Spirit abounded all the more in him (Acts 13:52)– I will grow in the Fruits of the Spirit as my patience is perhaps tested or pulled.
Wanna join me, fellow tongue waggers?