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LornaDoone40

Galations 5: 22,23 The fruit of the Spirit

Quote:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.


We all know this passage well, but whom is it we love?  Do we just love those who love us?

Luke 6: 27, 32-35

Quote:
But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you...  If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom hope to receive, what credit is that to you?... But love your enemies, do good and lend, expecting nothing in return..."


Christ calls us not just to love each other, but to love also our enemies. Thats hard enough, but without His Spirit, how can we love not just each other but also our enemies with patience (long suffering), kindness, goodness, with faithfulness, gently, and with gladness (joy)?

But we must also love each other, as Christ loved us. For 'God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God'. (1John 4:16)

John 15: 12-14

Quote:
'This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love that this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.'


So when we are impatient - with our brothers and sisters and with our enemies - is that because we do not have His spirit within us, or because we all fall short sometimes? When we are not gentle, but hard, is it because we have ceased to abide in love, or because we have allowed a few weeds to grow and need pruning? When we lose control of ourselves, have we forgotten God or have we fallen to the temptation of wanting something in return - a little recognition or praise for our endeavors perhaps?

Just a few thoughts.  Smilie_PDT
BevIsHopeful

I just want to print this post out and read it a hundred times.  Thanks for it, Lorna.  You so seldom see posts like this coming from the internet, forum, Christian sector and it's so refreshing.

Lexilogio

This is good.

It's so hard to love our enemies! It's so hard to love those who have irritated us! I try so hard not to be bitter, and to forgive, but it isn't always easy.

Do you ever notice as well though, that when we follow this, when we forgive - we end up happier?
Paul

One of the things I nearly always find myself confessing is uncharitable thoughts, especially at work, towards those who annoy me. The silly thing is, it's usually only over little things. The priest gave me some good advice, he said, concentrate on one thing you particularly have a problem with, such as what we're discussing here,  for a month, two months, or as long as you  need, working to eradicate it from our lives and praying to the Holy Ghost for the graces and virtues we need to do so. Also, always try and imagine yourself in the presence of Christ, especially in those situations were you feel most annoyed at others. I find that this helps, though of course we all have lapses.
LornaDoone40

Quote:
Do you ever notice as well though, that when we follow this, when we forgive - we end up happier?


Oh yes! The healing that it brings is amazing.  

When I was first exploring my faith, I had a friend whom I used to talk a lot with about God and faith, and I considered us to be pretty close as friends. She had been a JW who had been disfellowshiped under the appalling circumstances, but had never lost her belief in God.

To cut a long story short, she eventually decided to return to the JW's again (it was pretty much the only way she could have contact with her second son), and it ended very badly between us. (I would not use the word 'jehovah' for the name of God, and was accused of devil worship and all sorts of pretty silly stuff).

It took a long time before I could forgive her - frankly I would never have got to that place without God's leading and healing.

But it felt wonderful - from my pov because I was finally able to let it go and because the thought of my friend reaching the end of her life and coming before the throne of God unforgiven for what had happened had become more painful that what had happened in the first place.  And yet in the beginning I had been so full of 'righteous anger', too wounded to let go of the hurt, thinking that I had every right to feel like that.

In all things, and in all ways, God knows so much better than we do what our hearts need.
Lexilogio

LornaDoone39 wrote:

God knows so much better than we do what our hearts need.


Oh yes.
LornaDoone40

Paul wrote:
One of the things I nearly always find myself confessing is uncharitable thoughts, especially at work, towards those who annoy me. The silly thing is, it's usually only over little things.


I find that it usually is too. Smilie_PDT

Paul wrote:
The priest gave me some good advice, he said, concentrate on one thing you particularly have a problem with, such as what we're discussing here,  for a month, two months, or as long as you  need, working to eradicate it from our lives and praying to the Holy Ghost for the graces and virtues we need to do so. Also, always try and imagine yourself in the presence of Christ, especially in those situations were you feel most annoyed at others. I find that this helps, though of course we all have lapses.


Such wise council.  

blessings
BevIsHopeful

LornaDoone39 wrote:
Quote:
Do you ever notice as well though, that when we follow this, when we forgive - we end up happier?


Oh yes! The healing that it brings is amazing.  


Yes, I also have experienced this.  

I really love this thread, all the posts.  And I so relate to you Paul. I agree with Lorna, and will try to remember your priest's advice.

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