April 02, 2020
Some things irritate us way more than other things do.
There are people who just seem to know how to push all our buttons effortlessly. All it takes is one careless statement or a single action to trigger a negative reaction from us—it crawls from our skin, into our veins, and then straight into our hearts and minds.
It gets much worse when that person hits our soft spot or commits a pet peeve of ours. These things get the best of us, and we end up wanting to say and do things that we will later regret.
What are your soft spots? What ticks you off easily, particularly now that we are under enhanced community quarantine? What triggers you to unleash your worst?
Let me be honest with you. Here are my triggers:
And the list goes on. I’m pretty sure you also have a list.
But, what do we do with our list? Do we impose this on other people and expect them to act the way we want them to? If only, right? But in reality, we can’t just tell our parents to stop giving us chores. We don’t just wake up one day and expect our siblings to do everything we ask them to. People aren’t wired like that, and they, too, have certain expectations of us.
In fact, sometimes we’re on the receiving end of somebody’s irritation at home, and we’re clueless as to why they were mad or grumpy. To which we say, “Pero bakit parang kasalanan ko?”
That’s why we need to rely on the Holy Spirit in us.
Who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity, along with God the Father and God the Son, Jesus. In John 14:26, Jesus said, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
The Holy Spirit is God Himself. He is our helper and guide. He shows us what God the Father is saying and will help us do what God the Father is telling us to do.
Whenever we’re angry, impatient, vengeful, or in anguish, we can ask the Holy Spirit to guide us on how to respond to our situation. This is when the fruit of the Spirit comes in handy.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh . . . But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
We are to be led by the Spirit in order to bear the fruit of the Spirit. How?
1. Constant Surrender. We need to acknowledge that we can’t do this on our own. Left to our own abilities and attitudes, we will fall short of showing love and extending patience to others. Whenever you’re triggered and overwhelmed by your emotions, pray. Through prayer, we can say, “Holy Spirit, help me respond the way Jesus would. Hindi ko na po kaya.” You can be honest before God. Tell Him everything. Tell Him how you feel. And as we surrender to God and allow Him to be in control of our actions, He can work in us and through us. He can make us become more like Christ.
2. Stay connected. A fruit is a product of growth. Good fruit grows and matures by staying connected to a healthy tree. Just like the fruit, we need to stay connected to God. Spend time with Him. Read and obey His Word. We can’t bear this fruit on our own. We need to be deeply rooted in God to produce divine love, joy that overflows, peace that transcends all understanding, patience that endures, kindness that lasts, goodness that does what is always right, faith that triumphs, gentleness, and self-control.
These nine traits are referred to as one “fruit.” They are not different fruits in a basket nor is this a fruit cocktail. It is like a cluster of grapes or an orange with slices. Each grape comprises the whole cluster; each slice makes up the whole orange.
The same is true with the fruit of the Spirit. We can’t just have one or two without the others. We can’t love our family without being patient, kind, gentle, and so on. The Bible clearly says that when we let the Holy Spirit guide our lives, we will be able to resist our sinful cravings (Galatians 5:16). This chapter in the Bible enumerates our sinful desires:
The cravings of the self-life are obvious: Sexual immorality, lustful thoughts, pornography, chasing after things instead of God, manipulating others, hatred of those who get in your way, senseless arguments, resentment when others are favored, temper tantrums, angry quarrels, only thinking of yourself, being in love with your own opinions, being envious of the blessings of others, murder, uncontrolled addictions, wild parties, and all other similar behavior.
Galatians 5:19–21 (TPT)
There are a lot! And God’s moral law denounces these deeds. But the Holy Spirit, who dwells inside of us, enables us to live a righteous and holy life. It empowers us to say no to temptations and walk away from sins.
Incredibly, the Bible says that when it comes to the fruit of the Spirit, “there is no law” that forbids it. There’s no limit as to how much we can show love, patience, kindness, and more to others.
We can’t just say: “I’ve had enough,” “Ako nalang lagi ang umiintindi,” or “Sobra na.”
As we abide in the Holy Spirit, we will continue to flourish and bear fruit. When we walk in the Spirit, there is no such thing as too much love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These can continue to abound and overflow in our lives.
We go through different seasons in life, just like how every tree experiences different seasons. Every day, we get the opportunity to grow our character. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can resist our sinful nature even in the face of a tough and stormy season.
Are you currently struggling to live a righteous life? Do you feel that change is impossible? Do you feel lost and don’t know where to start?
You are not alone in this battle. The Holy Spirit is there to guide you. You can also message us! We would love to listen to and pray for you.