September 27, 2016 at 11:03 am #11107
Sister, Ana Maria CrequeKeymaster
Spirit Controlled Life – Forum – Week 4
Welcome to Layperson’s Bible School, Spirit Controlled Life course. We are going to have an exciting time digging deeper into the scriptures concerning this subject. For our discussion forum this week read the devotional by Rick Renner from Sparkling Gems from the Greek entitled “Longsuffering and Gentleness,” dated July 25, 2016. After reading the devotional answer the questions at the end.
No peeking at other students responses before posting your own.
RULES FOR THE FORUM: The forum opens every Sunday, In our forum discussions, you will post your response to my question(s) and then post a response to two (2) of your classmates to receive full credit. Don’t forget to check your grammar and spelling because you will be graded on it.
The tone of every post should be professional and NOT personally attacking in any way. The goal is not for everyone to agree but for everyone to handle disagreement in a Christ-like manner. Any questions you have regarding the topic should to address to the instructor. The discussion forum is not the place for advice or counsel. If that need arises, please handle it through private e-mail or discussion with Pastor Walker.
Longsuffering and Gentleness
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness.… — Galatians 5:22
Have you ever thought, Lord, You have to help me deal with this person You’ve put in my life! I’m so tired of trying to help him with his rebellious attitude that I’d like to walk away and leave him forever! Please give me the patience I need to keep working with him! Do you recognize those thoughts? Have you prayed this prayer before?
At times, we all get frustrated with someone else, and sometimes our level of frustration can rise to the boiling point. This is especially true when we are exhausted from trying to help people who don’t act like they want or appreciate our help. It’s so easy to be Christ-like with people who appreciate us or who show us kindness. But are we going to act just as Christ-like when people don’t appreciate us? Will we demonstrate the life of Jesus Christ equally to those who irritate us as much as to those who make us feel good or who treat us with respect?
Whenever people fail to appreciate what you do for them, fail to listen to your counsel, or fail to value what you have contributed, your flesh likes to rant and rave about how little you’re valued, respected, esteemed, and appreciated. That is often the golden moment when your soul rises up to say, “Excuse me, but I’m not a mat for people to wipe their feet on! I’ve invested all the time and energy I’m willing to invest in this ingrate. I refuse to help him any further!”
Parents have felt this way toward their children; teachers have felt this way toward their students; husbands and wives have felt this way toward their spouses; friends have felt this way toward their friends; and pastors have felt this way toward their congregations. The bottom line is this: Regardless of your status in life — who you’re married to, where you work, or what you do — like everyone else, you need a healthy dose of “longsuffering” if you are going to successfully get along with other people in this world!
In Galatians 5:22, the apostle Paul lists “longsuffering” as another fruit that the Holy Spirit wants to produce in our lives. He writes, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering….”
The word “longsuffering” is from the Greek word makrothumia, which is a compound of the words makros and thumos. The word makros means long. It is where we get the word macaroni, which of course is a long noodle. The word makros indicates something that is long, distant, far, remote, or of long duration. The word thumos means anger, but it also embodies the idea of swelling emotions or a strong and growing passion about something. When compounded into one word, it forms the word makrothumia, which pictures the patient restraint of anger and therefore denotes longsuffering. It can be translated as the words forbearance and patience.
The word makrothumia (“longsuffering”) is like a candle that has a very long wick and is therefore prepared to burn a long time. It is ready to forbear and patiently wait until someone finally comes around, makes progress, changes, or hears what you are trying to communicate or teach him or her.
In Colossians 3:12, Paul commands us, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.” This word “longsuffering” is the word makrothumia. But notice Paul begins this verse by telling us, “Put on.…” This phrase is from the Greek word enduo, which was used in New Testament times to denote the putting on of a garment or a piece of clothing.
If you are going to properly dress for the day, you have to make the choice to look into the clothes closet and choose the clothes you wish to wear. Then once that selection is made, you still have to reach into the closet, take those clothes off the hanger, and slip them onto your body! Your clothes won’t jump out of the closet and onto your body without your help. If you are going to wear them, you have to put them on!
Paul now tells you that if you’re going to be forbearing, patient, long-burning, and compassionate toward other people, you must make a choice to act in this fashion! Walking in makrothumia (“longsuffering”) is just as much a choice as it is for you to walk in your clothes. If you don’t choose to put on this fruit of the Spirit and walk in it, you won’t do it!
In First Thessalonians 5:14, Paul also tells us, “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.” The word “patient” is also the word makrothumia. In this case, Paul is telling us that it is just as much our responsibility to be longsuffering with people as it is our responsibility to warn the unruly, comfort the feebleminded, and support the weak. Walking in makrothumia (“longsuffering”) is a part of our Christian responsibility. We have an obligation before God not to be short-tempered or quickly angered with people who struggle or fail; instead, we are to forbear with them and help them!
In First Corinthians 13:4, Paul uses the word makrothumia when he writes his famous chapter about love. He says, “Charity [or love] suffereth long.…” Longsuffering is so different from the flesh, which gets easily angered, blows up, lose its temper, says things it later regrets, and doesn’t want to give the same mercy that it demands others give to it. Yet we are commanded to let makrothumia (“longsuffering”) have a key role in our lives!
Other possible interpretive translations of the word makrothumia in First Corinthians 13:4 could include:
“Love is not short-tempered or easily angered.…”
“Love does not quickly blow its top, but it is patient as it waits for others.…”
“Love is not irritable and impatient but is willing to wait a long time for someone to change.…”
“Love is determined to wait until the other person finally comes around….”
“Love passionately burns for others and is willing to wait as long as is necessary.…”
Parents need to be longsuffering toward their children; teachers need to be longsuffering toward their students; spouses need to be longsuffering toward their spouses; friends need to be longsuffering toward their friends; and pastors need to be longsuffering toward their congregations. And each of us needs to be longsuffering with ourselves!
If you don’t allow “longsuffering” to work in you, you will end up frustrated with everyone all the time — including yourself. So decide to let the Holy Spirit supernaturally produce “longsuffering” in you today. You’ll be more tolerant of others, more peaceful within yourself, and a lot more loving and patient toward those whom you love and need so much!
However, “longsuffering” isn’t all you need! You also need “gentleness”! This is another supernatural attribute that Paul lists as a fruit of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:22, where he says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness.…”
The word “gentleness” comes from the Greek word chrestotes, which meant to show kindness or to be friendly to others and often depicted rulers, governors, or people who were kind, mild, and benevolent to their subjects. Anyone who demonstrated this quality of chrestotes was considered to be compassionate, considerate, sympathetic, humane, kind, or gentle. The apostle Paul uses this word to depict God’s incomprehensible kindness for people who are unsaved (see Romans 11:22; Ephesians 2:7; Titus 3:4).
One scholar has noted that when the word chrestotes is applied to inter-human relationships, it conveys the idea of being adaptable to others. Rather than harshly require everyone else to adapt to his own needs and desires, when chrestotes is working in a believer, he seeks to become adaptable to the needs of those who are around him.
Paul was so driven to compassion about reaching the lost that he told the Corinthian church:
“And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews…” (1 Corinthians 9:20).
“…To them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them…” (1 Corinthians 9:20).
“To them that are without law, as without law…that I might gain them…” (1 Corinthians 9:21).
“To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak…” (1 Corinthians 9:22).
“…I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some…” (1 Corinthians 9:22).
You see, Paul was so interested in reaching others and meeting their needs that he was willing to become whatever he needed to be in order to reach them. In fact, he was well-known for being adaptable to people and to their needs. Paul even wrote these words about himself: “Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ…” (2 Corinthians 10:1).
The word “gentleness” is the same word chrestotes that Paul now uses to describe himself. He made it one of the aims of his life to walk in chrestotes, or in gentleness and kindness, becoming adaptable to others around him so that he might minister to them and meet their needs.
This is so contrary to the flesh! Flesh says, “Excuse me, but if you don’t like me the way I am, you can tough it out! This is the way I am, and if you don’t like it, you can just get out of here. I’m not changing for anyone!”
But when the Holy Spirit is producing His fruit of gentleness in you, you’ll hear yourself thinking and saying, “How can I be different for you? Is there any way I can change that will help you? Is there anything I can do better for you? How can I serve you and meet your needs more effectively?”
It is a supernatural work of God when we become adaptable to meet the needs of others around us. When we attain this fruit of the Spirit in our lives, we are making great progress in our walk with God. This is exactly what Jesus did for us when He laid aside His glory and took upon Himself the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men (see Philippians 2:7,8). When Jesus came to earth, He denied His own comfort and adapted to human flesh that He might reach us and bring us to God!
Do you find yourself thinking about how you can reach others? Do you think of ways you can change to be a bigger blessing to people in your life? The flesh never thinks this way. It just likes to demand that everyone else change to please it! So if you are starting to consider how you can be more for those who are around you, that is a strong indication that the fruit of the Spirit called “gentleness” is starting to work in you. And if it hasn’t started to work in you yet, today would be a great day for you to ask the Holy Spirit to start producing this Christ-like attribute in your life!
My Prayer for Today
Lord, I thank You that I don’t have to walk in the works of the flesh. Because of Your grace, I can surrender to the power and Presence of the Holy Spirit inside me. As I surrender to the Spirit, I ask that His divine life release His supernatural fruits in me. I want to be more patient, longsuffering, and kind. I know that I need these attributes in my life and that I am lacking them right now. So rather than continue down the path I’ve been on, I am stopping everything right now to ask You to change me. Please produce the life of Jesus Christ and His wonderful character in me!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I confess that I am loving, patient, and kind. I don’t lose my temper. I am not quickly angered. I am forbearing of others, tolerant of their mistakes, and burning passionately to see them gain new levels of growth in their lives. Just as others have been patient and forbearing with me, I am very patient and understanding of others who are also trying to change! I am gentle, kind, and adaptable to those who are around me. As the Spirit of God works in me, I become all things to all men in order that I might gain some for the Kingdom of God!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. Is there any one person with whom you are constantly losing your temper? Do you say or do things to that person you wouldn’t want someone to say or do to you? Why do you think you so easily fly off the handle with that individual? Please do not name the person in your post.
2. Have you ever asked that person to forgive you for being so unkind?
October 31, 2016 at 1:10 pm #12336
I would not say that I constantly lose my temper with this individual, however he can make you go there if you’re not prayed up, oiled up, and armored up in Jesus’ name! There is a gentleman that I serve with that most would describe him as surly. Every week he would say some things that make my eyes squint or threaten to throw me out of the booth among other things. Well, there was an instance where I had to literally tell him that I couldn’t deal with him and his disposition because he was simply overbearing that day. I said it in an agitated tone because it was just one of those days in the booth where things were not running smoothly and I made it crystal clear that his infamous personality was unwarranted that day. I could tell that he was taken aback because of what I said, but I simply was not concerned about his feelings because I was too busy in mine.
Now to be honest I do not think that he means any harm, but just likes the fact that he can ruffle my feathers. As I have stated throughout these discussions, I have to work very hard on my peace and patience. The gentleman just so happen to catch me on one of those where I was exposed and the enemy invited himself in. And although I never did apologize, I knew then that I had to change how I handle these types of situations. So what did I do? I put my fruits to work….overtime. Every opportunity I get, I would tell him good morning or ask how he is doing. I would tell him that he is in my prayers and in my petition. I would be very mindful to say things in a joking or gentle way. When he threatens to throw me out of the booth, I now would ask him if he would like us to get in agreement in prayer so his prayers can be answered faster. Let me tell you, I exhausted every single fruit on this gentleman, but just like God promised, I will bear good fruit.
One day while I was in the booth, the gentleman apologized to me for no apparent reason. I smiled and said ain’t God good. This is a huge deal because he is well known for not apologizing and made a point to tell me just that. He even started defending me on trivial matters in the church. As B.B. King said, the thrill has gone because I would not give in by losing my patience or peace. He does not try to provoke me nearly as much as he once did. See there is no fun in ruffling feathers once you realize that the feathers can no longer be ruffled. It is the same with the enemy (James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”)
When this gentleman apologized, I could have easily told him that he was not sorry. I could have told him that he would do it again so why bother apologize. I could have pin pointed all of the wrongs that he had done me. Instead I chose to forgive and let God. I did not indirectly condemn him or prolong anything because then I really did not forgive him even though I said so. I chose not to dwell on the negative because I myself am a work in progress in many areas just like the gentleman. I chose to move forward and remember it no more as my heavenly Father has done with me time and time and time again. My point is that I chose to walk in true love.
Evidently it was effective enough because I got another apology from him that week! I am now speaking in faith that his fruits will develop and bear good fruit in Jesus’ name. Amen.
November 5, 2016 at 12:01 pm #12486
I like Perez’s statement on daily reprieve and hard work concerning keeping peace. It’s hard to cover all the battle grounds, so we get “catch out there.” as she exerts,
“The gentleman just so happen to catch me on one of those days where I was exposed and the enemy invited himself in”. These are the kind of situations I’m working on guarding myself from they hurt to much and I’m tired of hurting. I do daily coverings so I don’t get catch out there and let the devil in cause he can only get in if I let him. Morning prayer, Joseph Prince and Joyce Meyers have been intricate in helping me to keep my peace.
November 1, 2016 at 1:27 pm #12365
There is one family member whom I find myself losing my temper with most of the time. My problem with her is that she is extremely lazy, she procrastinates every time she has to do something. Needleless to say, I don’t think she cares if it’s of important or not. When she has to do anything she moves like molasses. Painless to say, I have to deal with her daily. One thing with her is that she doesn’t try to understand, even explaining to her how important it is to do things on time, especial when it involve others. What upsets me the most is that she gets mad very quickly, very unteachable. Because of her attitude It causes me some time to say things I should not have had said.
I think that I fly off the handle with her easily because she is dear to my heart, and I only wants the best for her, and she doesn’t see it. I love her; however, the important things in life seems to mean nothing to her. As I wrote my paper on Patience, she was one of my advocates. I must say that I apologize to her often, as sometimes I deal with her unkindly.
November 1, 2016 at 4:45 pm #12374
Thank you for your honesty Lilly. While reading your post, I came to realize that relationships can be twofold in the sense that it is how someone interacts with us as well as how we choose to interact with others.
I am now learning that regardless of how a person treats me or behaves, I hold the power to keeping peace and love in the relationship. Even if I do not agree with their beliefs, actions, etc, I am learning that I can still hold my peace. I try my very best to live God’s word and stay focused on Him. Lord knows I have some ways to go, but I have definitely made progress. Thanks be to God!
November 2, 2016 at 12:31 pm #12391
Lily, I have someone like that in my life. It seems as if it is the people that are closest to us who frustrate and upset us the most. I find that is especially true if the person is younger than we are and that word “unteachable” is on point. My mindset is that all of life’s lessons don’t have to be learned by experience. I’ve been there, done that so listen to me and learn from me. However, and unfortunately most young people don’t see it that way. We just have to pray and speak the Word over our family members while we cultivate the fruit of the spirit to better reach and teach them.
November 4, 2016 at 4:46 pm #12467
Lilly I feel you been there done that. It’s very difficult to deal with people who has bad attitudes, especially when you are trying to tell them something for their own good. If we didn’t care we would leave them right there on their own and whatever happens to them happens, I don’t know when they are going to get it that whatever we say or do it’s for their good and not to hurt them, because we have their best interest at heart.
November 1, 2016 at 2:42 pm #12368
Is there any one person with whom you are constantly losing your temper? Yes I have a co-workers what always making trouble with me so when their get me upset I tell them to leave me alone or I just don’t say anything to them.But that one of them out of the ten co-workers .It have one of them who think that he can get under my skin all the time. But everyday I get up in the morning to pray and goes to early morning pray so that what let me to don’t get my temper in the way .And at the same time I pray and ask them for forgiveness for what all I say to them or about them .And whatsoever I did to them .But all in all thanks the holy spirt and the grace to keep me forever more.
November 1, 2016 at 4:57 pm #12376
Brother Raphael, I am very happy to see that all is well with you! You were in my prayers.
After reading your delightful post, I said to myself, what would Jesus do? Lol. We cannot get any better of an example than Jesus Christ! I love the fact that you are not giving up. You lost your temper, asked God for forgiveness, and kept going.
I don’t know about you, but that sounds like some King David mentality right there. We know King David messed up in all kinds of ways, but God saw his heart and blessed him greatly because of it.
So don’t give up brother Raphael, I believe God’s got a great blessing in store for you!
November 2, 2016 at 12:43 pm #12393
Raphael, we definitely do have to stay prayed up early because there are so many things waiting for us out there in the world; at work and just in general. I like that you ask your co-workers for forgiveness for what you say to or about them. I think that is something very important to do and I’ve found that it is better to do it sooner rather than later because an waiting allows an offense to fester and that makes everything worse.
November 2, 2016 at 5:09 pm #12406
Yes Raphael, I missed you in class and during morning prayer. So glad to see you participating. I am happy all is well with you. I agree, going to morning prayer does help me tremendously face the challenges the day brings. I do struggle with forgiving those who continually push my buttons especially in the same manner and then say they are sorry. How many times can you say you are sorry and then turn around and repeat the same error? But, Jesus says to forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven. God knows He had and still has to forgive me continuously and many times for the same mistake. Learning to love like Jesus is a challenge and a lifelong process.
November 2, 2016 at 12:24 pm #12387
I can have a bit of a short temper at times, particularly in dealing with certain clients or industry related businesses. However, rarely does that come through to them as I usually keep it under control in the interest of good customer service. However, there is one person with whom I consistently (not constantly) lose my temper if we are in contact for a long period of time. I have told this person off and hung up on them a few times. I have been told off and hung up on myself so I know how it feels.
I tend to “fly off the handle” when the person makes light of my beliefs and undermines my goals for my family. I can’t understand why they can’t understand the effects that their actions or inaction has on me and my family. I will explain myself, they seem to understand and agree and then when we are in contact again it is like the conversation never took place. I go in expecting that progress has been made and nothing has changed.
I have apologized before but not every single time that there has been conflict. Currently we are communicating via text message which so far is working. It takes longer to write than to say something so I have time to choose my words more carefully and vice versa. Clearly, there are some fruit of the spirit that I need to cultivate among which are love, peace, longsuffering, meekness and temperance. I think that I am headed in the right direction.
November 2, 2016 at 5:27 pm #12408
No, Stacy, not you! I thought what you said was so funny because I have known you for over a year and only seen you strongly react to an issue once concerning a grade. But, there is always two sides to a person. You never know the person’s other side until that button is pushed. I don’t believe standing up for what you believe in is wrong. I don’t believe demanding respect from someone is wrong. I do believe the way you handle the situation is the key. Set a standard for yourself and don’t allow anyone to cause you to fall below that level. Just make sure the standard you set is one God would approve of. And remember, God made a way out, just ask the person for forgiveness (this takes so much effort for me), develop the fruit that will help you grow in this area and always forgive yourself.
November 6, 2016 at 3:00 am #12552
Well yes I can say I TO has that one person who gets under my skin from time to time, but bless God and I look at it and laugh. When ever we are in contact I do my best to be very how do you say it cordial, there are times this individual will say something that in the past I would not let go. I had to just say what was on my mind. Well because I have been working on forgiveness and letting the past be the past, allowing God to work in me, I would pray if I have to say anything to this person or be in contact with them. I realize that once you pray and practice love towards them there is not really anything they say can get to you but if old feelings come I really step back and pray under my breath and when I am done sing unto the Lord in worship so that flesh boy stay in check.
November 2, 2016 at 12:30 pm #12389
There is a co-worker that I am constantly frustrated with more than lose my temper with. She does not work in my office, but somehow she finds herself at my desk almost everyday. Why I get frustrated with her is because of me always trying to explain to her to be thankful for what she has and not focus so much about what she doesn’t have, because you still have more than what some people have.
I told her yes you may not have certain things that you might want or may not be exactly where you want to be in life right now, but look at some of the people around you who doesn’t have a roof over their heads, they don’t even know where their next meal is coming from, or where they are going to lay their heads when night comes, but you have a home to go, you have a job, some people don’t have a job, some of them don’t have shoes on their feet but you have shoes on your feet and clothes on your back, as far as I can see you don’t have much to complain about.
I really get frustrated with her constant complaining, I told her that you are blessed, and she would give me all the reasons why she feels she is not blessed. She now puts me in that mode and I had to go there with her; I asked her do you know how many people who didn’t wake up this morning? I told her you woke up and that’s a blessing in itself. I went on to tell her there are people who are laid up in the best hospitals with their bodies racking with pain, they don’t know if they are going to live to see another day, but here you are in good health and strength that’s another blessing.
I explained to her about my family members even close friends who are battling cancer, high blood pressure, sugar diabetes and what they are going through. I told her about my aunt who is in the hospital challenged with dementia she doesn’t even know who she is, who her family members are or what time of the day it is, yet you are here functioning in your right mind, so you don’t have much to complain about.
When she does come back, she always do; because we would have different discussions all the time. I would tell her that I didn’t mean to be so harsh with her or not try be sensitive to her complains, because I do understand and I hear you, but you really don’t have much to complain about because somebody still has it worse than you.
November 2, 2016 at 10:13 pm #12411
Marita, once upon a time, I was just like her. What caused me to gravitate to people who spoke positive was that it was like pouring water on an almost dead plant. Her spirit truly enjoys hearing you speak positively. But, because her flesh is in control, it is stopping her from fully grasping your message. This why she keeps coming back to you. Your message gives her life and hope for a better tomorrow. When I was a negative person and someone spoke positive to me I felt like I was actually drinking their words. I felt alive in their presence, however, the minute I left their presence, the feeling of dread came tumbling back down upon me. Her spirit flourishes around you, so don’t be annoyed because she keeps coming back. We need to hear the positive messages spoken to us. I know it can be draining on you. I guess this is where the fruits of longsuffering, gentleness and goodness comes in. Just know, you are doing a good thing.
November 3, 2016 at 5:24 pm #12435
Marita, I know someone who was like your co-worker. She is saved but at the time, lacked knowledge of the Word of God and how to apply it to her life. All she spoke was negativity and the more she spoke the more negative things would happen. I had to stop being her garbage dump because it started to affect me and my faith walk. I had to constantly change our conversations and show her in the Bible what God said about her circumstances.
November 4, 2016 at 4:23 pm #12465
Marita, as I read your post, I’m seeing the me I’m being delivered from. I was listening to Juanita Bynum two days ago, and she mentioned that “don’t nobody want to to be around someone who’s complaining all the time!!”. Whe she said that, I said to myself that I have to get out of this pity party and grow up in God, stop crying and giving soo much life to the problem. I see now that I was making the problem bigger than I was making my God, and that is foolish. As I move forward, I’m more grateful for all that God has done and how far He’s brought me and my family. I don’t want to waste energy complaining anymore, I just want to cast whatever it is on God and get my praise on!!! Hopefully, one day she’ll come to realize what your trying to show her and do the same.
November 5, 2016 at 1:52 pm #12490
I totally agree with everything you have said and all that you shared with that coworker. I see the same thing on my job on a daily basis. People complaining and muttering abut there lives and taking it for granted, when we are blessed everyday GOD GRANTS TO US. I share with them how lucky they are to be alive, have a job by the water with an ocean view and many more to be thankful for. I also tell my daughter the same thing. I pray and thank God that we all have planted seeds, that WiLloyd brindle forth fruit in its season
November 5, 2016 at 6:29 pm #12510
Perhaps you are unaware, but you light up any room you enter. I mean this in the most respectful manner. Before I knew your name I referred to you as the lady with the hair and the heels. I’d say, “Her hair is always well done, and the only thing higher than her heels, is her standards.” Now this is evident at first glance, so naturally people will be drawn to this. God’s light clearly shines in you and world is in dire need of it. Please know although it may be frustrating, the light of God you shine on people, lingers long after you have left. You are doing a good thing, so continue to sow the seed like 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 states, and let God reep his harvest.
November 5, 2016 at 10:23 pm #12524
Sister Marita, complainers can be difficult to deal with especially when yourself could find something in your own life to complain about if you chose to live your life in that manner. However, you choose to be thankful for all that God has provided for you. As I write this response, the song “God Provides” by Tamela Mann is playing. It ministers to one’s spirit that no matter what we need, God steps right in and provides. What an awesome God. Continue to teach this lady of how to count her blessings. Prayerfully, she will understand sooner and not later.
November 2, 2016 at 11:22 pm #12413
I am presently reading a book, Mentored by a Millionaire. In it is a self-evaluation form. Turns out I am too critical and lack patience. Because I have very little patience, a short fuse is in close proximity. The problem is that instead of talking about the problem, I don’t fly off the handle, I retreat into myself and say nothing at all. Alternatively, I argue with the person in my head all day long. There is no peace in my mind. Growing up my mother would always say to us “keep the peace.” When problems occur in the neighborhood, she would be the peace maker. She would also not discuss problems with my father, but instead keep quiet outwardly, but inwardly she would be constantly worrying or rehashing the problem. She would sit quietly and pick away at her hair. In this way, I follow in her footsteps. If and when I do talk about the issues and I meet a wall placed by the person or if the person refuses to respect my wishes, I am not the type to keep discussing the problem until it gets solved. I consider that to be nagging. I simply walk away, keep to myself and do what I have to do on my own. This is especially easy, since I enjoy being an independent person. Sometimes this works, but the majority of the time it doesn’t and the problem hangs around.
The person I am dealing is extremely selfish and deliberately tries me by doing things I asked him not to do. He is of the mind that he does nothing unless he is benefiting from it. I expect that when you reach a certain age there are somethings that one should know, it’s called common sense. So when this person approaches me daily, repeating the same annoying behavior, my responses, if any, are short and sharp.
Now that I am learning how to cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit that are needed in my life, it has gotten easier to deal with the issues that are constantly arising. I have developed guards all around myself to protect me from harsh words or tough circumstances. Learning how to cultivate the fruits and finding scriptures to conquer the problems helps me tremendously in dealing with the person and not being afraid to be offended. Another big help is having a personal relationship with the Father. In the past, if I felt I was right, I would fight for my rights regardless of who got hurt. Now, because of my relationship with the Father, I have extreme confidence that what He says to me, no matter what it is, it’s always in my best interest. So if I am right, but the Father says “just leave it alone you will cause more harm than good if you fight this,” I can let the matter rest without feeling bitter. Also, I am more focus on the Father knowing He supplies all my needs no matter what. It has become easier to say “I am sorry if I said something that hurt your feelings.” But, I don’t always do it with the right heart. I am aware of this problem and have asked Holy Spirit to help me in this area.
November 3, 2016 at 10:08 am #12420
I see some of myself in you and your mom. I tend to do both, keep things that are upsetting me inside and argue with them in my head. But, when that bottle gets filled and all the pressure can’t be contained anymore, I fly off!!! I know that I take too much for way too long, and when I explode it comes off like I’m crazy. Everything that’s been building up, whatever I’ve been putting in a box in my mind, it comes out fast and very harsh sometimes. I have to stop bottling up my feelings, because the longer I keep them in the worst it gets.
I’m soo thankful that I’m ow learning in depth about these benefits of having the Holy Spirit….Lord knows I need all the help I can get 😉
Thanks for sharing Donna, you’re helping me more than you know.
November 5, 2016 at 6:10 pm #12508
There are others?!? I most definitely have a tendency to take too much for too long, and bottle it up within myself as well. I’m like a bottle of coca cola real dark and sweet, but shake me up too much, and I explode (I wish I were shaped like one too, but that’s a different forum^_*). I’m so greatful for this class and insights I get from everyone as I read the threads on this forum. I’m excited to see how we all grow as God’s spirit guides us towards course completion.
November 5, 2016 at 5:55 pm #12506
First I’m so glad you wrote this post because I see so much of myself in you and in your mom. I am truly surprised to see someone else with same issues. Argue with them your head, Ma’am I’ll be in the bathroom mirror just handing it to them like, “I wish you would say something else to me…”. I live by myself so I know my neighbors think I’m crazy by now. It happens to me all through the day, so much so I’ll zone out in the middle of doing other things with this angry look on my face. This book seems like a must read and I’ll most definitely use the same approach of cultivating the fruits of the spirit to deal with this issue. Thanks so much for your wonderful post. I’m not crazy…Glory be to God^_^
November 3, 2016 at 9:51 am #12418
Yes, I definitely have one person with whom I’m constantly losing my temper. This individual has been very close to me for many years, and we were great friends at one point in my life. I confided my deepest feelings, my hopes and dreams, my hurts in this person. I held them very close to me. I fly off the handle soo easily with them because I feel that even though they know how much things hurt me, they continue to jab at those areas. I feel that someone who’s been in my life for this long, and knows me this well shouldn’t do this to me. It hurts and angers me when its thoae closest to me are the ones that tend to cause me the most hurt, so I don’t let anyone into my sphere, I don’t trust much anymore.
I have said things to them that I wouldn’t want to have said to me, and I’ve done things also. However, those things were said and done because they were done and said by that person to me first, and I reciprocated in an effort to show them how I felt. It didn’t work, needless to say. In no way am I justifying my actions, I knew then that it wasnt right and I know even better now.
I have asked for forgiveness, but then I resort back to the same behavior when they go back to doing and saying what hurts me. I don’t think they ever truly have forgiven me, and neither have I forgiven myself.
I know now that all this is a result of the Fruit of the Spirit not being evident in my life. I’ve been trying to do it all, to change, in my own strength. That’s why I’ve been constantly failing in my love walk. I’m in a state of desperation, yearning for a change within myself, not wanting to be angry or bitter anymore.
November 4, 2016 at 3:54 pm #12460
Ezrikah sometimes the people we hold dear to us are the very ones who will turn around and hurt us. We put them in that special place in our hearts and it’s unfortunate that they don’t put us in that same place. At the end of the day the word says we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world. It’s the spirit that’s behind them that is using them to come against us, that’s why we can’t be ignorant to the devil’s devices, he would use anyone who is willing to succumb to his lies. Developing the fruits take time and effort as you continue in the press and not give up, you will become better in Jesus name.
November 5, 2016 at 10:57 pm #12536
Ezrikah, I’ve learned that only those close to us can hurt us. That’s because they hold a special place in our heart and most of all we TRUST them. I tend to pull back if I’m hurt repeatedly by the same person who’s close to my heart. However, our Laperson’s classes has taught me so much about mysrlf and the Holy Spirit. Prayer….without ceasing. It keeps us covered and able to stand the wiles of the devil. I can honestly say that prayer and praying in tongues has worked for me in this area of keeping my temper and tongue in check.
November 3, 2016 at 2:39 pm #12424
It’s Monday night, 10:30 P.M. at the Hodge residence–tempers are flaring. “I’m not telling you again–get off the cellphone!” “I’m coming ma! This is important. I will be off in a minute.” “No! Get off now! You just talked to your friend at school and you have been on the cell phone from the time you came home from school. You can’t even go to the bathroom without your phone!” (Whispering into the phone) “I’m going to tell her I hung up the phone so she can leave me alone.” “I’m off the phone mom so you can stop yelling!” “It’s about time! Go to sleep!” (Five minutes pass mom enters the room–you fill in the blank).
In today’s world, defiance is at an all-time high especially with adolescents–they are bombarded with unruly behavior on television, social media, music, etc.; therefore making it easy for minor squabbles to turn into major conflict. In Proverbs Solomon gives some advice for controlling tempers: “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32). “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared (Proverbs 22:24-25). “An angry man stirs up dissension and a hot-tempered one commits many sins” (Proverbs 29:22).
This definitely was a high voltage situation. I’m learning in times like these it’s beneficial if you walk away and go somewhere else for as long as it takes to get a clear head. Where I can be more objective and ask myself, “Who’s in control of my life right now? Is God? Or am I? A wise person told me to make sure the Holy Spirit is calling the shots. Then go back and resolve the problem without ranting and raving, without saying or doing things I will regret later.
Behavior is learned, therefore flying off the handle with any individual becomes common or habitual. Was an apology made no. The behavior was orchestrated it was conniving, manipulative, and dishonest. Unfortunately, no one wins in situations like this. According to the text, “Prayers That Avail Much” by Germaine Copeland, “lack of communication skills is one of the greatest hindrances to healthy relationships. Adults who grew up in judgmental, critical homes where they were never allowed to express themselves sometimes carry much hurt and anger into their relationships. Often they were not permitted to have their own feelings without being condemned; they were not permitted to explore any ideas different than their parents’. There was an eye watching their every move and any punishment they received was justified. Their parents were incapable of making a mistake. People raised in such oppressive home environments were never allowed to find themselves or to travel their own individual spiritual journeys leading to truth. The head of the home, usually was considered God in the flesh. Conflict resolution was never taught or practiced. Whatever the head of the household said was law–and disobedience to this law was not discussed, but beaten out of the child.
There is a way of escape. God sent His Word to heal us and to deliver us from all our destruction (Ps. 107:20). We must be determine to listen, to learn, and to change with the help of the Holy Spirit–our Teacher, our Guide, and our Intercessor. The anointing is upon Jesus to bind up and heal our emotional wounds (Luke 4:18). His anointing destroys every yoke of bondage (Isa. 10:27), setting the captives free.”
November 3, 2016 at 5:16 pm #12433
There was one person with whom I would constantly lose my temper with that was near and dear to me. I had to stop all communications with him permanently just to try to get peace in my life. When I am mad or angry I become very verbal and I found myself saying very hurtful things in response to his behavior towards me. The best way to describe our relationship was ‘toxic’. It was so easy for me to fly off the handle because he knew what buttons to push to get me upset. It was almost like there was a spirit using him to taunt me.
November 4, 2016 at 5:17 pm #12470
Rhonda it was not like there was a spirit using him, it was a spirit. Remember we wrestle not against flesh and blood, so its not the person but a spirit behind the person. I know sometimes its hard to believe because people can be so trifling and hurtful in their ways, but we can’t forget who we are and whose we are, that’s why its so important for us to develop the fruits in our lives so we won’t fly off the handle so easily.
November 5, 2016 at 11:47 am #12484
I definitely agree with Pamela, these situations are high voltage situations and they must be death with by calling on the Holy spirit. Such situations are spiritual and must be dealt with on the spiritual realm. They are enemy attacks. As Pastor would say “You think the devil is just going to sit and let you learn, pray or fellowship in Jesus” He will send out lesions to stop you.
The victor is one who uses the Word to conquer their situation and succeeds.
November 5, 2016 at 2:07 pm #12492
I know exactly what you mean when you say toxic. I had a relationship like that before in my life. Burial I thanked God that I no longer have those feelings of anger, hurt and pai towards this person. I have to say it took a separation from the relationship to make this happen and I am ever great full tof GOD. I didn’t like feeling angry, mad, and in edge all the time when around this person. I was scared about what was going to happen. Praise God nothing did. We are now better friends. Thank GOD.
November 4, 2016 at 10:59 pm #12479
Thankfully, there’s no one that I “constantly” lose my temper with. However, there is one person that does her best to rub me the wrong whenever she can. I’m very good at ignoring so I don’t fall into that trap of losing my cool and allowing the devil to rob me of my joy.
I’ve never said anything to her that I wouldn’t say to someone else or that I would regret saying. Reason being being I would pray in tongues to keep my tongue in subjection or text a close friend and ask them to pray for me.
I have “planned” on what I would say when I knew our paths would cross….but I know Holy Spirit intervenes and keeps her out of my way and her tongue and mine under subjection.
Generally, speaking I don’t lose my temper easily or as I did in the past before joining WOFICC. I must say, that praying in tongues has helped me; as well as I know that’s not how I should conduct myself especially as a Christian.
Pastor was preaching on Spirit, Soul and Body and in one of those Sermons he spoke of our “true being”; the real spirit that we exhibit. That had me to really begin “checking” my spirit. No sooner than those Sermons were preached I got into an argument with a church member. I wasn’t really upset but was yelling back at her simply because she was yelling at me. In a very short time I became quiet…holy spirit began speaking to me. “Monica, this isn’t how you behave, and on the Church grounds too?” I retreated and let her argue with herself. That following Sunday, this same person was interrupting my Praise and Worship…passing notes….(which I didn’t read). After Church she came at me again, all I could do with tears flowing was cry out for the Lord to take her away from me. We have sinced hugged it out and all is well.
We must constantly remain prayed up and filled with the Word….do we know that according to Ephesians 6:10-18 We must put on the whole armor of God….for we wrestle not against flesh and blood…..
November 5, 2016 at 9:50 am #12482
I have someone who constgantly triggers my temperment. Af first, i thought it was due to my expectations of Partner and felt obligated in these expectations.
This was because when one chooses a partner, there are conditions and expections that came along with this choice. However, i never we consult with the Partner to see if the Partner has in fact the same goals, cares, wants or even needs. Then when children come on the sceen, women have a tendency to become more alert of what is actully needed and what they want for the child’s growth. Then expectations become evening greater and they become discontent with what the Partner has to offer. Where we once had no concerns suddently becomes the biggest areas of concern. an example: Living in a home that is not conductive for child rearing or spiritual growth and Partner quite comfortable. Children’s college fund and savings, Partner being quite comfortable living with day to day paychecks and not understanding the importance of why a women who have so much insurance, and concerns with savings. These are some of the non honeymoon period. issues and subjects that trigger discontant and temperment resulting in bad feeliing and ultimitly bad words.
Notice in my script i didn’t say Patner caused me to lose my temper. Its because Im aware one chooses to lose their temper. I allowed the enermy to use me “Im gonna give him a peace of my mind” as Pastor’s favor saying of someone who just gets away.
Instead I should have been standing on Jeremiah 32:27 “I am the Lord of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” I wasnt focusing on what the Lord says in Philippians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know unto God.” I was focusing what me and Partner can do together and weather he participates or not. This was being in control and not allowing God to be in control. I had to take the focus off the <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>WE</span> can and put it on the <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>HE</span> can, which produces a desired effect.
Really this is more easily said then done. It a learned behavior, a cultivation of the fruit of Peace if you will. I had to pray, abide in Jesus and love the word of God. this is constant is isn’t a one time event.
I like to share that since I’ve learned about the fruits of he spirits and how to use them ( doing this is) have made my life easier and less stressful.
November 5, 2016 at 10:31 pm #12528
Denise there’s something that I learned from a dear friend whom is now deceased; lower my expectations and there will be less disappointments. At first I looked at is an an easy out to give someone who wasn’t doing things as I expected. When I understood and grew more in my Christian walk I learned to let go of “expecting” someone to do things as I would or with the same urgency as I would. Guess what?? I wasn’t disappointed as much so there were no arguments and disappointments. Hallelujah!!!
November 5, 2016 at 1:35 pm #12488
Yes, there is someone in my life with whom I sometimes loose my temper with and yes, I regret saying certain things to that person. This person is someone whom I am constantly in contact with on a daily basis. Let me tell you guys I really need the fruits of the Spirit , while communicating with this person. Especially patience, kindness, gentleness and long-suffering. I ask my Father everyday when I am in the presence of this person for faith and patience to help me show the love of God and the joy and hope to this person whom I love and care for deeply. I know that our relationship have changed since we both lost a loved one a couple of years ago. This person felt that I loved the person that we both loved more than I did them and that put an additional strain on our relationship. I didn’t and still don’t love one more than the other. They were two different people with different characteristics, but loved the same. I know that the lost of our loved one have affected our relationship and we both have changed from the lost. But the want to give all the GLORY, HONOR AND PRAISE to GOD because I have seen the changes we have both made towards each other and our relationship. We express more kindness, more compassion, more loving towards each other. We have reached place of fresher, kinder and more open communication with our relationship. Praise God for answering prayers.
November 5, 2016 at 5:23 pm #12501
Yes, I had two individuals with whom I would often loose my temper. I was often disrespectful to them because I felt they were often disrespectful to me. One of the individuals is a person of authority, so I felt especially bad when it happened. The other individual has no authority over me, but I had a great deal of respect for this person. On top of it all, I regarded both of them as good friends. It really broke my heart to struggle with them in this manner.
I can honestly say there are things I would’ve done differently, but I would not change the things that I have done concerning them. I personally try to take criticism constructively, but with a grain of salt. If a person notices a problem with or about me, I would prefer they discuss it directly with me, as opposed to behind my back. I’m learning as I get older I’m can’t control what others do, but I can control what I do. Also, what I do is so much more important because I represent God, and my actions are what the world judges me by. I find it so amusing how knowledgeable non-Christians are about the characteristics of a Christian. They will jump at any opportunity to call your bluff.
I know I flew off the handle easily with them because I loved them enough for them to hurt me. I wasn’t expecting people whom I cared about so much to treat me in such a manner. I thought our feelings were mutual. I often cried about this issue, it hurt me down to my core. Then, one Sunday during pastor’s sermon he mentioned two scriptures Romans 13:1-5 and Luke 6:28. One speaks about respecting authority regardless of their personality, and other challenges you to bless those who curse you. These hit me like a ton of bricks. I don’t know if its just me, but Pastor’s sermons are often rough. I leave church feeling like I got a whopping. I no longer fly off the handle with either of these individuals, but its quite exhausting. I feel like it feeds into the passive aggressive nature I developed over the years. Now, I’m actively trying to find ways to assert myself in a respectful manner. I’m praying for the Lord to help me develop better conflict resolution skills, so my needs as well as the needs of others can be met.
November 5, 2016 at 9:37 pm #12520
Sister, Ana Maria CrequeKeymaster
There is always a time in your life when you come across a difficult person, whether it’s a family member, a friend or even a co-workers. I too had a family member that gives me a hard time at work. Somedays she tries her best to get under my skin. She can be very rude and disrespectful. One day she was hospitalize and my boss keep asking me “Did you call to check on her and I told him no?” It’s not that I didn’t want to visit her, but I was extremely busy at that time.
Finally my co-workers and myself made a visit to her at the hospital. One prayed for her and then I ministered to her and laid my hands over her body and prayed for her healing. The word say in Mark 16:18, “Believe shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” The power of God was so strong in her room. That the cleaning lady who was in the room couldn’t finish her work. All she could do was praise God with us. My family member was so blessed that she squeeze me tightly and she cried and cried. And she told me thank you, she needed that prayer. So it does matter what the situation is sometime, we as a believer have to be the bigger person and tell that person I am sorry. Let God love shine through you, so you can be a great example to others in need. Continue to walk in the character and likeness of Christ Jesus and let the Fruits of the Spirit bring you closer and closer to God. Excellent Job Everyone!!! Be Blessed.
November 6, 2016 at 1:26 am #12545
I find it very easy most of the time to not let anyone outside my immediate circle to annoy me to the point that I loose myself control and let them have a piece of my mind, however, within my immediate circle, I let it all out. Maybe, I’m making up for all the others that I let get by. On a daily basis I am face with many different personalities on my job, and personally, I have learned to separate myself from all the negative and focused on the positive and what needs to happen in order to get through the day. I’ve realized early enough that I cannot change people heart only God can, the most I can do is stay prayed up and be an example of light.
On the other hand, within my immediate circle I lay down the law, and those that do not follow it feels the wrath. I am not the person that makes a lot of noise arguing. That is not my style, I lay it down short and swift, after that is silence on my behalf. I am slow to anger, however, when my cup gets full, my wrath is swift and painful. I was thought that a lady should be seen and not heard. Therefore, I think a lot before I open my mouth. I believe in hitting the target with as few words as possible. Apologies do not come often on by behalf, like I said, I think first before I speak, therefore, I am right in my words and actions, or so I believe.
Thank God, for Revelation, Knowledge and Understanding. I now understand that is not always about being right, rather its about winning people over to Christ through our actions and deed. In his words, I have read a soft answer turns away wrath, but, a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1) The older I get, I am realizing it is better off to live at peace with all, rather that than in an environment where there is contention and strife. Developing the fruits of the spirit has allowed me to live a life of less stress. I’ve learned the importance of being a reflection of Jesus Christ on a daily basis is the only way to win unbelievers over to Him. At the end of the day its all about Jesus Christ. I’ve been crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me.and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20) Hallelujah
November 6, 2016 at 1:49 am #12547
Denise, I totally understand where you are coming from. My honeymoon phase has been gone many years ago too and I had to learn to seek God face for my peace and joy. I now realized that I was looking to my partner to fulfill those needs that only God can. I let him off the hook a little now. But, I am still a work in progress, Thank you Holy Spirit.
November 6, 2016 at 2:09 am #12549
I know what it means to argue with a person all day in my head Donna. I can curse a person out in my head. Maybe that’s the cause of my headaches. Seriously, though, thank God for His revelation of the Holy Spirit. I’ve learned to rely on the Holy Spirit daily for His guidance in every situation that I am faced with. Praying in the Holy Spirit rather that arguing in my head has helped me a lot. It reminds me daily that I should cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalt itself against the knowledge of God, and bring them into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:5
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