It takes a lifetime to build a reputation and only an instant to destroy it. Most people don’t remember all the good things that you have done but blow it once and they will never forget it. A perfect example of this is former President Clinton.
If you asked average American what they remember most about Clinton’s Presidency they will usually answer with the first thing that comes to mind, the Monica Lewinsky affair. This means that Bill Clinton will be forever remembered for his indiscretion.
If you polled these same Americans and asked them to name something positive about Clinton’s two terms good most of these same Americans will be hard pressed to think of one bill he signed into law or one good thing he did for this country.
Christians are not immune to this type of thinking, we can spend a months building report with someone only to have it destroyed in one minute by a faulty word or an inappropriate action. If you don’t think this is true all you need to do is look at Jim and Tammy Faye Baker or Jerry Falwell.
For all the good they did they are still remembered for their indiscretions. The Bible talks about keeping a good character and having good moral values. This is not only so we may remain blameless in the world’s eyes but is also to help others see Jesus through us.
Remember if we blur the vision of Jesus through our wrong actions or words others may never come to know Him.
As Christians we are called to bear fruit as would a mature healthy plant which is the theme of Galatians 5:22. If you are not familiar with the verse take the time now to read it.
Notice that the first fruit is love followed by the others. The significance is that all the other fruits are built on the roots of love. We must love unconditionally before we can proceed through and develope each of the other fruits of the spirit. You must have love to be kind, patient and so on.
What do you think?
Now using our plant analogytake some time to think and list the things that hinder the growth of a plant.
Now can you name some spiritual parallels that hinder our growth as Christians?
If you are having trouble read Galatians 5:19 and list those problems that inhibit growth in your life.
If you are being hindered by anything on the list it is time to let the Gardener culivate your life so that you may bear fruit and ultimately plant seeds in someone elses life.
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