Here’s a fruit of the Spirit lesson I’ve learned: The hardest part about self-control is controlling yourself enough to keep it to your self. Sometimes I speak before I think. I type before thinking about the tone of the message, I pre-judge before I know all the facts, I even assume a position before making a sound decision. I let my emotions have full control and my emoting can quickly lead to demotion, hurtful and sometimes broken relationships.
Living a life of discipline takes focus, intention and a whole lot of self-control. Our thoughts, our mindset, our speech, our attitudes, our social life are all a part of our Christian walk. When we allow God to be the editor in chief we can do better, live better, talk and walk better as ambassadors. How do you discipline yourself to be sure you are living on pitch and bearing good fruit?
How do you practice self-control when things are out of control?
Prayer: Dear Lord take control over my thoughts, my speech and attitude today. Let my outside actions show people You live on the inside. Help me to hold back when I want to lash out. Amen.
Listening is a special art form. Good listeners are hard to come by these days. The world is noisy and it seems everybody has something to say as more and more people live out loud on social media. I have found people who don't listen never get what they want. The best relationships I've had are the ones where I listened and learned. They are often the ones where I chose wisdom over foolishness.
Here are a few scriptures to help remind me of the choices I make. I also use them to stay in tune and sharpen my listening skills.
Proverbs 12:15 (NASB) The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.
Psalm 81:11-14 But My people did not listen to My voice, And Israel did not obey Me. So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, To walk in their own devices. Oh that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways! I would quickly subdue their enemies And turn My hand against their adversaries.
Proverbs 1:33 But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil.
Ecclesiastes 7:5 It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man Than for one to listen to the song of fools.
Be encouraged and listen up because God is speaking. What's your favorite scripture on listening?
Have you ever been told to think before you speak? I remember being told by my parents, “Don’t just say the first thing that comes to mind, think first.” I’m learning more and more that a soft answer turns away wrath. The Bible is clear about practicing self-control. It’s ok to get angry. It’s not ok to sin. I’m still living and learning how to express myself as a child of God. I realize sometimes I have to open my heart before I open my mouth. Sometimes it’s better to open my heart and shut my mouth until the right time. Now that’s what I call living on pitch.
I Corinthians 13 reminds me that love keeps no record of wrong. I pondered this passage of scripture and asked myself, what records have I been storing up on the hard drive of my heart? Can I create more room to love? I think so, according to the Bible. It’s time to delete some things and let go!
Prayer: Dear Lord, delete messages I try to keep on file, give me a big eraser and remove the tendency to rewind tapes that replay hurt feelings, anger, hatred and fear. Soften my heart to love the way you love. Amen.
I need to have my eyes checked. I can’t see. The problem with my eyes starts with me. I was recently speaking to a family member about truth and reality. We spoke candidly about what we saw in a situation near and dear to us and how we saw things differently. In my conversation we both learned we can’t see too good and were in need of a spiritual eye exam. It was a reminder to beware of calling things like we see them. Have you ever said,” I just call it like I see it?” I thought about this and how God sees everything and knows everything. God sees far beyond what you and I can see. Do you see the problem with our eyesight? We say I don’t see it or I can’t see it, I can’t see how…. but the reality is we don’t see as well as God sees. I learned when my eyesight is faulty it affects my faith. I can say I just call it like I see it but only God can see it before I call it. The Bible reminds me that my “I’s” need examination frequently. Am I looking at this through the eyes of faith? The Bible says in Hebrews 11 that it’s not about things we can see. It’s about what is not seen. As a believer I must let faith be my guide. It doesn’t matter what our situations look like we must remember that God sees and knows everything. When we can’t see how we are going to make it through our current situation and things may not look good to us, we must trust in God who sees and knows exactly what’s best for us.
I am trying to live a more healthier, balanced life these days. Portion control, meal prep, exercise and changing eating habits are becoming part of my new normal routine . I’ve noticed that many healthy eating habits and tips articles I’ve read suggest we eat more fruit and vegetables and cut out certain meat from our diet. I agree we should all try to live healthy lifestyles and make good sensible choices with our nutrition, but when it comes to spiritual nutrition I can’t be meatless and fruitless. I’ve asked the Lord for His help with my spiritual growth and daily living. This does not happen by cutting out the meat and the ignoring the opportunities to bear good fruit. I can only pray for wisdom to balance the two.
I wrote out a prayer for myself for meatless Mondays: Lord help me not to be meatless when it comes to reading and studying your Word. Help me to desire more than milk, to digest it fully and never lose sight of being hungry for your Word. Allow my appetite to be fully satisfied just to do Your will and live on pitch today. Lord help me to be fruitful instead of fruitless when it comes to being a hearer and doer of your Word. Amen
2 Timothy 2:1-7
I recently wrote down these words from a sermon preached from my beloved pastor who said, “we can’t fake getting into heaven.” It struck a chord with me and got me thinking of reality shows and celebrities which we sometimes define as being fake. If we choose to admit it, we can be honest and say most of us have at least one reality show we like to watch or will tolerate being on TV. I don’t watch a lot of TV but I have been drawn into the lives of other people by some reality shows. Whether I was flipping through the channels or just waking up to find a show already on, something or someone, a design, or some exotic place, or cool location captured my interest and I wanted to see more. I was drawn in to someone else’s life. I ‘ve watched shows like The Voice, Project Runway, Bring It and more recently the Rap Game. People say you can have your own reality show of your life and the truth is most of us already do. Our everyday lives are real. We are broadcasting live shows daily. We have temporary and sometimes permanent drama, fears and tears, laughter and love, joy and pain. We also have family and friends, healthy and unhealthy competitions, success and failures. This is my reality, it’s a real life of trying to live on pitch and stay in tune with God through the everyday challenges of balancing work life, church life, healthy eating, fostering relationships, keeping my home organized, spending time with family and friends, growing spiritually while writing and reading books. I try to take care of business and stay on track. I have good and bad days. I hope my reality shows other people we can go through life in every season living on pitch. It’s not going to be a perfect life or an easy road but we can make it by staying connected to God who give us strength each day. There will be days of drama, fears and tears, joy, pain, laughter and love. God already knows and He cares about our everyday life because we matter to Him.
How are you living on pitch? What are your favorite reality shows?
Let me hear from you!