I woke up the other morning, irritated and grumpy because of a small insignificant matter and I ended up taking it out on my family. I wasn’t in control of my emotions, I let it run wild and ruined what could have been a perfectly good morning. It led me to pray and ask God to help me control these feelings I get of annoyance, irritability and anger, especially when its for no good reason. The Holy Spirit prompted me to read Galatians 5, it speaks on the fruits of the Spirit and what our lives should produce when we live by the Spirit.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, humility and self-control”
That self-control one is tricky for me, especially when it comes to my feelings and reactions – I’m a very emotional person and I can be reactive at times. I get irritated when things don’t happen when and how they are supposed to happen and now and then I can have an angry outburst. I know it’s not pretty but if we lack self-awareness, we’ll never be able to deal with the deeper issues of the problem. When I read Galatians 5 vs 19, it said the following:
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear; sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties and other sins…”
For me, hostility, quarreling and outbursts of anger are what I battle with. Especially at home and in the mornings when we have to get done for the day and things are not happening as fast or as smoothly as I want it to happen. But I’ve realised and maybe you can relate if this is something you also struggle with, that getting angry or irritated won’t solve the problem or make circumstances more ideal. In fact, it might make them worse. It will sow division in your home and everybody will end up being in a bad mood. It certainly is not the way to start or end a day.
So that has been my prayer lately. That God helps me to stay in control of my emotions and teaches me patience or teaches me how to be patient when I experience less than ideal circumstances and that I don’t just get angry or frustrated at anything or anyone over small matters.
Another verse in Galatians which is sort if the core for me is verse 13. It reads as follows;
“Don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead use your freedom to serve one anther in love, for the whole law can be summed up in this one command ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ “
Galatians 5 is full of wisdom and basically teaches us that we should let the Holy Spirit lead us, lead our lives, actions and thoughts. It speaks of how the sinful nature only wants to do evil;
“And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions”
Every morning when you open your eyes, you are entering the battlefield of your mind, in fact, the battle has already started while you were sleeping. When you wake up, that’s when you choose on which side you are fighting on. Are you on the side of your sinful nature or are you on the side of the Holy Spirit?
Every day is a battle and it’s easier to give in to sin than it is to surrender all we know to God but then we need to ask ourselves, what do we want more and what is worth sacrificing?
Galatians 5 vs 24 ends the passage with the following:
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited or provoke one another or be jealous of one another”
So this will be my guide and my prayer and I hope it can be yours as well, with whatever sinful nature you are struggling with. I pray that our lives will be filled and reflect the fruits of the Spirit and that we don’t give in to our sinful actions at the expense of our loved ones.
A little self-awareness and introspection can go a long way. Below is a video of a poem I wrote about the battles we face in our minds.