"So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature."
Galatians 5:16 (NIV)
I love having choices. Choices means freedom. We can choose which car we drive, which college we go to, what kind of house we live in, what city/state we live in. We can choose what we wear, what we eat and even what we think. Choices are great, but they also come with responsibility and consequences. We would be wise to consider our choices wisely.
In the book of Galatians, Paul talks about some choices that were facing the early church...choices of behavior. He made two lists of behaviors - consider which list you prefer:
You can go with this...
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 (NIV)
Or you can go with that...
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
If given the choice (and we are given the choice), I'm going with the last list...the fruits of the Spirit!
"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."
Thank you, God, for allowing us the freedom to make our own choices. You do not force us to follow you, to love you or to serve you. You simply lay out our choices and we are free to choose, but, Oh God, help us to realize the consequences of our choices and help us to make wise ones. For those of us who call ourselves Christians, may we always keep in step with the Spirit and may our choices always bring honor to the name we bear - the name of your Son, Jesus Christ.
(Copyright© 2011 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)