Sunday, October 9, 2011

Grace Under Fire....

I had a rough last week.  I am having a difficult time keeping one of the positions within my organization filled.  The work load of the position and the amount of back log would seem impossible to overcome sometimes. 

I have been training a new employee this week and will continue to do so next week.  She has the skill set and the experience.  She is energetic, she is attentive.  HOWEVER, I found myself at the end of the day today ready to consider firing her because she was not picking up on things as quickly as I needed her to.  My boss has the same philosophy.  She wants to see instant results and has no mercy.  I do not want to have that philosophy, but yet I found myself falling victim to that trap today.

I was also witness to an emotional melt down in the workplace on Friday.  The person will remain unnamed.  This person ran out of the building, slammed the front door, screamed at the top of her lungs and let off a string of curses that is so out of the ordinary for this person.  I will say that I was stunned into silence.  I have wondered recently why God has me at this particular agency.  I have searched for answers and come up empty. Today, I was able to tell a young twenty-something business woman that her strength and wisdom do not lie in her master's degree.  The strength and wisdom she seeks come only from the Lord.  This young woman is a Christian, but just a baby Christian, and she has not yet learned that only God provides what we need.

To some that last sentence may sound like I am passing judgement, but the word says:

Luk 6:44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.

The fruit we should be growing is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.  What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit?

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

As we read and apply the Word of God to our lives and our actions, we should begin to see the the fruit of the Spirit growing in us.  We should begin to see peace, and joy, and love, and patience (long-suffering), and all the rest.  Without these fruits becoming evident in our behavior, we won't exhibit the fruit that shows we belong to the Vine. 

Joh 15:1 I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser.
Joh 15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away. And every one that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bring forth more fruit.
Joh 15:3 Now you are clean through the Word which I have spoken to you.
Joh 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
Joh 15:5 I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Joh 15:6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered. And they gather and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Joh 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done to you.
Joh 15:8 In this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, so you shall be My disciples.
As Christians we should behave in a manner the Lord commands. 

We must remain part of the living giving vine in order to be known as His disciples.  Outbursts of wrath and anger do not have a place in a branch that has been grafted into the vine.  We should strive for our behavior to reflect the teachings of Jesus Christ.  One of the things that we should be growing in as we walk in the path Jesus has made for us is self-control. 

Eph 4:29 Let not any filthy word go out of your mouth, but if any is good to building up in respect of need, that it may give grace to the ones hearing.
Eph 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed until the day of redemption.
Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and tumult and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
Eph 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you.

Yes, all of this is much easier said than done.  But Jesus never promised us easy.  As Christians, our lives are no longer our own.  We are slaves to Christ and are not free to continue to act as sinners.  We are new creations, new creatures and we should be learning how to cultivate the fruit we are supposed to bear as a part of the Vine. 

I pray we all learn how to grow the fruit we need to live the lives we must to bring honor and glory to the King we serve.  I know that I often fall so short of the example I desire to set for those around me and for those I meet on a daily basis.  I want to be an example of the love and patience of Christ and to set an example that causes my coworkers and acquaintances to say, "I want what you have." I want them to see the love of Christ through me.  I pray we all have the desire to be the ambassadors for Christ we should be in this lost and dying world.

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