But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce
this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Have you ever had a “duh” moment? If you have, you definitely know what I mean. If you haven’t, you may not be completely human! : ) Most of us have them more frequently than we’d like to admit. I had one just the other day and afterward I started thinking about it…not just in the sense of being embarrassed, but in the sense of self-analysis. I came to the conclusion that many of those “duh” moments have to do with the way we think about things. In other words, are you a serious thinker or do you just think about things superficially? Perhaps you’re like my sister… she is always saying, “You know how literally I take things!” This is especially true when I get exasperated with the way she perceives something I said. All the while I’m thinking, “How could you possibly have taken it that way? Are you just dense?” (And she’s probably thinking the same thing about me!) Don’t tell me you’ve never thought things like that before! Are you wondering by now where I’m going with this?
We are all different in the way we think…in the way our brain processes things. A lot of it depends on the way we grew up, our personality, our education…even our genes. Therefore we may perceive what someone says or does in a very different way than it was intended. My point is…that’s when we have to put into practice what the Bible calls long suffering or patience or maybe even kindness. The Lord has been speaking to me lately about being aware of this and being more tolerant of people. Things aren’t always the way they appear. And sometimes when you know the whole story, you think, “Oh that’s why they did or said that!” I’ve even gotten irritated with someone in traffic and then thought, “Hey, I’ve done that same thing before.” Life is so much more harmonious for us AND OTHERS when we ask the Holy Spirit to help us with our thinking. We all remember the Bible verse we learned as children, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Luke 6:31) Jesus Himself said these words. Would you like for someone to try to “understand where you’re coming from” when you say or do something? Then perhaps we should try to understand them. I’m not saying this is always possible. Some people mean things exactly the way they say them! But the Holy Spirit will help us discern those who need more understanding, if we just make an effort rather than jumping to conclusions.
Okay…I know you’re just itching to know what my “duh” moment was! I recently bought a new car…a Hyundai Elantra. But seemingly there was something wrong with the automatic key fob. Sometimes it would open the trunk and sometimes it wouldn’t. It was very annoying. I would have to open the door and pull the manual lever. I had already called the young man who sold me the car and made arrangements to come in and have it checked out. When I got there, Brian said, “Let’s just check it again before we go to the service department.” I gave him the fob. He pushed the trunk button and the trunk opened. I said, “Give me that thing!” and tried to open it to no avail. He said, “You do know you have to hold the button down for three seconds before it will open. It’s a new feature to keep you from opening it accidentally.”
Sure enough, Right there on the button beneath the picture of the open trunk it said, “Hold”. “Duh!” I thought because it was a foreign car, they were calling the trunk, the “Hold”…you know, like a cargo hold. I had no clue it meant to hold down the button! My other cars were…push…open. Probably no one else in the U.S. would have thought that, but I did! I guess that makes me really unique! (Don’t you dare say a word!) And that’s what got me thinking about this whole devotional.
We are all unique and I dare say no two of us think the same way! Remember that next time someone tries your patience.
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other,
making allowance for each other’s faults
because of your love.