I remember many years ago when my children were young that one of them said something that was somewhat insulting in nature in front of my in-laws. I don’t remember what it was, but I know that it was embarrassing to me. It was embarrassing because I had realized that he was saying something that he had heard me say and that was very apparent to everyone else as well. Like the prophet, Nathan, my young son had exposed my sin.
I learned at least two things from that incident. First of all my sons were watching me. They were learning more from what I was doing and saying than from what I was verbally instructing them. That would change. I became much more careful about the things I said and did in front of them – no more embarrassing moments for me!
Secondly, after becoming more careful in my actions around them I came to realize that I was like the Pharisees. “Even so you too outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matt 23:28) I was more concerned about outward appearance than my heart attitude. I was acting one way and thinking another. My heart needed to change. When you discipline your heart to walk in the Spirit, you really don’t have to worry about what you will say or do. For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. (Gal 5:22,23) You see, “…it is God who works in you to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Phil 2:12)
Well that was a life lesson for me. However, the struggle still goes on. Every day moments arise – Am I going to respond in the flesh or am I going to be led by the Spirit? How about you? How are you going to respond to those moments?