Sometimes I get these spur of the moment ideas to do something good or kind for someone. It's like an urge, or a seed of an idea. It may be to send a card, to call, to email, to write a real letter and send it by snail mail. It may be to take a little gift or bake some cookies. I cannot say this kind thought comes to me because I'm a kind person. I wish I could, but if that were true, I'd probably be a bit more motivated to follow through on the idea--not so stingy with my time and energy. Often, my thoughts don't always make it out the front door...or even from the tips of my fingers. I tend to procrastinate. Many times, I regret it at the end of a day--or weeks later, when I discover how it may have helped someone at a particularly difficult time in their lives of which I was unaware at the time of my neglect.
According to Galatians 5, the Holy Spirit gives us His fruit which is a fruit-cocktail concoction of goodness, mercy, kindness, love, and more. Since scripture also says no man is good, and every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father, I can only assume when I get an idea to do something kind for another, that it is God telling me to do so. My righteousness is as filthy rags. I am but clay-- a vessel to be left in His hands, to do with as He wants...and all too often I rebel over the simplest of things, and flinch at the gentle touch of His fingers. When I hop out of His hands to follow my own desires, I tend to get in trouble. You see...
That flesh part of me that seeks to gratify itself with manufactured acts of love and kindness, is the self-centered part of me; it's not of God. A selfish motive quickly and easily spends itself, only to receive a mind, body and heart filled with weariness and fleeting gratification. When I do things expecting elation and gratitude, I can come away from a deed with a very empty feeling. The Lord allows us to feel good if we want, to pat ourselves on the back. But if we receive our reward from man, it is short-lived.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24
Sometimes I wonder why we have this never-ending unsatiated desire for approval-- to feel good. God knows we are like this, though. He knows we will succumb to our own selfish desire to constantly seek validation for what we do. That's why He tells us, "... let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9
In due season. Patience.
Unconditional love does not seek reward. Love is its own reward. Sincere kindness can't be mean. Genuine goodness can't be bad. Godly patience is not easily irritated because others are ungrateful. Attributes within a Christian's life is fruit the Spirit manifests. God is so generous with His grace.
Not a day goes by, the Lord does not speak and give me a seed of an idea to act upon --not for my glory-- but His. No telling how many blessings I've missed giving others because I failed to follow through on His Spirit's nudge--for His kingdom's sake. I pray that you are not like me and do not procrastinate. After all, we already have the joy of the Lord in our hearts, what more do we need?
So...what's God up to in your life? What's He placing on your heart to do, to say? selahV
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