I could do a ten year series on things I suck at … but I’ll spare us all that! The thought occurred to me as I read in our study of Mark in Old Lady Bible Study about humility. We were studying Mark 9:33-37, just after Jesus tells the disciples that he will be killed and rise again, their next conversation behind his back is:. “Who do you think will be in charge once he’s gone?” Miss the point much? Jesus goes on to make several illustrations about priorities and how ours just don’t match up to his. So how do we bridge the gap? How do we metamorph ourselves to have the mind of Christ?
The commentary points out that
… the closer we draw to God, the more humble we become. The more we are overwhelmed by His holiness, the more we will be aware of our unholiness–a realization that produces humility.Engaging God’s Word: Mark
This answers the question: How do I develop the traits I lack? I don’t develop them, they are produced. They are fruits that grow. If I want to grow fruit I have to first plant a tree. I have to care for that tree and provide the right conditions for the tree to produce fruit. But we live in a world where if we want fruit we just go to HEB and get it. We don’t even have to wait for much of the fruit we eat to be in season. We have the means and the opportunity to just reach out and get whatever we crave.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.Galatians 5:15-18
My friend Reed says the fruits come in order, they grow from each other. So I can’t decide I want to work on kindness and just skip love, joy, peace and patience. I don’t get to pick the fruits in my life as conveniently as I go to HEB. I can work to grow closer to God and in doing so the spirit will display those fruits in my life. As I focus on his holiness he works to form me into his likeness. I have to keep studying, keep seeking, keep obeying and trust that will be reflected in my life–not some crazy concoction I tried to staple together but fruits that can only be orchestrated by the one who created me, in his image.