Happy New Year

I can learn from my daughter by watching her. One of the things I love about her is her radiant joy and happiness. When we are out and about and she sees another child, she will wave or say, “hi.” Anytime there is another little person like herself she gets excited and waves her up and down wave. But here’s the thing. Even at such a young age there is a variety of children with different temperaments and the reactions of the other children vary. Even at such a young age, there are kids who scowl, make faces, even hiss! There are children who turn away, some even say some smart remark (sadly snobbiness exists in some toddlers) and can even push. And I understand. Different children have different characters, are surrounded by various people, and are also influenced by the ones around them. Then some are naturally more shy or more outgoing. All that aside, what I like is that because Jemma is so young and innocent, the reactions of any given child do not sway her happiness. They don’t make her react negatively. She doesn’t turn around and hiss back;) In fact she keeps waving in hopes of a friendly wave back or a, “hello!” Sometimes she’ll look with a questioning face at us and we explain how not everyone will notice or want to say hi back. Etc etc… We encourage to keep being friendly anyway.

And it made me think how we (or I) can be just happy about things, cheerful, just doing what we like to do, being who we are. We may share in our excitement or happiness and in response encounter ones full of bitterness. Ones who respond with a smirk or a sarcastic smart phrase. We can encounter people with their own heart issues- envy, hate or anger, hurt, or just their own displeasure at the whole wide world. Their own insecurities and their own heart issues affect how they respond or treat the ones around them. But it shouldn’t sway me. It shouldn’t affect or rob me of my own happiness and joy. I shouldn’t take every other persons heart issue on myself personally and have it change my own mood. I need to be more like my daughter who keeps smiling at the world, keeps waving to people, and enjoying her life!

Peter mentioned yesterday how sometimes, how someone treats us alters how we in turn treat others, and that we shouldn’t love based on that. We also shouldn’t ‘not love’ a person because he or she makes a mistake, or sins, or does something that doesn’t suit us in general.

Jemma doesn’t stop waving to others if someone ignored her or didn’t even see her. And I shouldn’t take upon myself someone else’s deep heart issue and in that same way treat another.

Thinking about it all yesterday, it made me think of the fruit of the spirit from Galations. And how that is what I want and need to focus on and take upon myself in how I treat people. I wanted to look up the opposites of the fruit of the spirit, and in doing so, ran across some very interesting information. Someone had posted the meaning, the opposite, and the counterfeit of each fruit of the spirit, from a book by Tim Keller and so once I started looking more I found a Galations study by Tim Keller in PDF form. (Click here, if you are interested in viewing!) And I wanted to share it because I loved it! In fact I really like the lessons 10, 11, and 12. ( For example, lesson ten breaks down the two different life patterns – fear-based life vs. faith working through love. And what it looks like to be a slave vs a child of God.) It made me think, who needs self help books when you have the book of Galations and someone to explain! It’s all in there covering any issue at hand!

^my two favorites before we headed out on Christmas Day.

Anyway, this is something I want to study and apply in my life for this year. To focus and be filled with the fruit of the spirit! To not be affected by the opposites (if encountered in others) and to not act in the opposite and counterfeit ways myself!

This is from the lesson 11 in the PDF on Galations by Tim Keller. The fruit of the spirit.

1. Agape – love

Definition – To serve a person for their good and intrinsic value, not for what the person brings you.

Opposite – Fear: self-protection and abusing people.

Counterfeit – Selfish affection. Rescuing someone but really rescuing self. Attracted not to person, but to how this person’s love makes you feel about yourself.

2. Chara – joy

Definition – Delight in God and his salvation for sheer beauty and worth of who he is.

Opposite – Hopelessness, despair.

Counterfeit – Elation that comes with blessings not the Blesser! Mood swings based on circumstances.

3. Irene – peace

Definition – Confidence and rest in the wisdom and sovereignty of God more than your own

Opposite – Anxiety and worry.

Counterfeit – Indifference, apathy, not caring about something. “I don’t care.”

4. Makrothumia – patience

Definition – Ability to take trouble (from others or life) without blowing. To suffer joyfully.

Opposite – Resentment toward God and others.

Counterfeit – Cynicism. Self-righteousness. “This is too small to be bothered about.”

5. Chrestotes – kindness

Definition – Practical kindness with vulnerability out of deep inner security.

Opposite – Envy. Unable to rejoice other’s joy

Counterfeit – Manipulative good deeds. “Right hand knowing what left hand is doing.” Self-congratulation and self-righteousness.

6. Agathosune – goodness. (integrity)

Definition – Honesty, transparency. Being the same in one situation as another.

Opposite – Phoniness; hypocrisy.

Counterfeit – Truth without love. “Getting it off the chest” for your sake.

7. Pistis – faithfulness.

Definition – Loyalty. Courage. To be principle-driven, committed, utterly reliable. True to one’s word.

Opposite – Opportunist. Fair-weather friend.

Counterfeit – Love without truth. Being loyal when you should be willing to confront or challenge.

8. Prautas – gentleness. (humility)

Definition – Self-forgetfulness.

Opposite – Superiority: self-absorbed self-aggrandizement.

Counterfeit – Inferiority: self-absorbed, self-consciousness.

9. Egkrateia – self-control

Definition – Ability to choose the urgent over the important thing.

Opposite – A driven, impulsive, uncontrolled person.

Counterfeit – Willpower through pride or through more “functional” idols.

I’ll probably share a few other parts and quote a few more phrases that I liked at some point.

***

I’ve really been enjoying my days without Instagram and other social media. Time off, randomly.

My favorite part of our last hours in the previous year was just cuddling with my husband and talking for some time! 2015 is over and it’s on to 2016!

So Happy New Year!!!

Cheerio

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