Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Whats Under Your Rug?

My Patio  - I'm so ready for Spring to get here. 
A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

For some reason the bible gateway verse of the day got my head to spin off towards this song called When I Think of You by Laura Story. http://youtu.be/pwNRaDI4K6A

Which got me thinking about Philippians 4:8 and some how in my mind these verses go together. 

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

"Why should we think upon things that are lovely? Because thinking determines life. It is a common habit to blame life upon the environment. Environment modifies life but does not govern life. The soul is stronger than its surroundings." William James

If you look around you everything you see has started from a thought, an idea. Someone had an idea and took steps to bring it to pass. I often see art in my head but unless I express it and turn it into a mosaic or a painting no one eles can see it. Our thoughts are powerful things. Just as we need to take steps of faith to create we also need to weed out those thoughts that are contrary to Gods will. Its not that God is all about do's and don't. He wants to help you to avoid the things that will damage you. In my mind these two verses go together. There is no law against things like love, joy and peace and the rest of the fruit of the Spirit. These are things that should be growing in our lives because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. However you need to remember that the Holy Spirit will not force any of those things upon you. The Holy Spirit waits to be invite, or allowed or given space in our life. He brings those seeds - like little thoughts but we have to choose what we water and allow to grow in the garden of our lives. All of the things in the Fruit of the Spirit list are things that are true, noble, right, lovely admirable and praiseworthy and we should think about such things according to Philippians 4:8.

So when I think... are my thoughts filled with these kinds of things or are they angry, blaming, jealous, vengeful, scornful, bitter kinds of thoughts? The later will damage you and choke the life out of you just like weeds in a garden will suck up the nutrients in the soil that the good plants need to grow and be strong and healthy. 

I have noticed for example with worry - that if I weed out those thoughts I have a whole lot of extra energy to actually take care of things in my life.  We each have choices to make regarding how we will spend our thoughts. Will we allow the weeds to take over and cause the produce from our garden to be week and sickly? 

If we don't weed out the negative stuff it spreads and grows. Think about those dandelions in your yard. If you have one you better get it pulled fast because you leave it very long and you will have a yard of dandelions. Those cute little yellow flowers turn into those little puffy seed balls and one gust of the wind spreads them everywhere. It is true of negative thoughts that become words or things we wrongly take action upon. Its like that virus it starts with one sick person and a few coughs and sneezes and before you know it everyone has been infected. 

We do get hurt and we may be angry its not that God expects us to pretend those pains do not exist. It is however important what we do with them. We need to allow him to heal us and it generally requires repentance and forgiveness. Bad things do happen but we want to put the memories of those things away clean and healed. That little insignificant scratch if left untended can become a nasty infection that can make the entire body sick. 

So my challenge to you today is don't just sweep that little stuff under the rug. Its like leaving that one insignificant dandelion in your yard. May not seem like anything right now but if you don't take care of it soon you will have a much bigger problem on your hands. 

Prayer: Lord, help us to see and recognize the thought weeds in our lives. Help us to pull them up and to get to the roots so they don't just grow back again and again. Help us to cultivate the the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Help us plant another row of love, joy, peace and patiences. We could all use more of those things. Help us to not just sweep things under the rug or to let them pile up in a junk drawer or in that closet or garage, basement or attic. Come Lord and begin spring cleaning in our thought life. 

The photo today is of my pretty patio space. We had one warm afternoon and I decided that it was time for the pato to be set up. Seems I probably jumped the gun a bit. There is still a messy garage full of things that I need to deal with on another warm day. 


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