I had such a cool weekend. What’s funny is that lately, even when I’m doing things that aren’t exactly my first choice for fun, I can enjoy them. I think this might be the kind of joy that Jesus is about. It’s a new joy that I thought I had known before, but realize now was often faux.
I heard a sermon once that talked about the different fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control. This pastor was saying that we often have a “counterfeit” of these fruits, and mistake them for the real thing.
Here’s an example of what he’s talkin about:
- Confident assurance that God is for us, that he is wise, and that we can trust Him rather than trust in ourselves.
- Opposite: Worry and anxiety.
- Counterfeit: Apathy that does not grieve over the difficulty.
- Joyfully serving another for their good, not to get something in return.
- Opposite: Fear leading to self-protection resulting in the harm of others.
- Counterfeit: Affection shown to others for selfish reasons. Attraction to others for how they make you feel. Helping others to feel good about yourself.
Do those make sense? Whatcha think?
Anyways, I could keep going off on side tangents, which I do all the time in real life conversations. But what I think I’m trying to say is that I’m finally seeing that some of these for real fruits of the Spirit are coming to life in me. For example, I’ve felt true inner peace in otherwise awkward situations….HOW GREAT IS THAT? I’ve been “ok” with who I am, regardless of whether or not I’m being approved of by others. This is literally like a FIRST…maybe ever…in my life. For me, this is hands-down God moving.
So what I think may be key is this: rather than trying to produce the fruits of the Spirit in my life, allow Jesus to walk with me and free me from bondage. Then, as I begin to live in freedom, the fruits of the Spirit will come. They will come FREELY and not because I tried to make them. beautiful.
Anyways, this weekend was spent with a dear French friend and 3 others that I was on a team with doing mission work in France. I hadn’t seen most of these people since I had fallen into a severely deep depression. It’s definitely not easy entering into situations with people who knew me when I was very different and very much in bondage (and didn’t even know it). So to experience the weekend with as much freedom as I did was encouraging to say the least. It gives me so much hope on this continued process towards greater freedom and healing. It also gives me a greater passion to encourage others on their own journeys.
So…what I did this weekend that I normally would not do: attended the Renaissance Festival…in costume. (see above picture)
other side note: I’ve been listening to the song “Call Me Maybe” way too much. The music video is WEIRD.
Do you have any thoughts or anything you’d like to share?