Have you heard of the ‘Marshmallow experiment’ before? It is based on a study done many years ago on delayed gratification (you can look it up on the internet.) A young child is presented with a marshmallow and told not to eat it until the adult returns after a period of time. When you think about it, it is a test of self-control.
It can be tricky not to give in to our own impulses and desires…temptations abound! From food to expressing our opinions in a forceful or demanding manner. While some choices have a personal impact, other choices (words and actions) can have a big and lasting impact on others.
Exercising self-control, by cooling down before engaging in challenging discussions, is a helpful way to protect and sustain relationships.
Throughout the term we have been looking at the Fruit of the Spirit in School Worship.
But the fruit the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy and peace. It is being patient, kind and good. It is being faithful and gentle and having control over oneself. There is no law against things of that kind. Galatians 5:22,23 NIrV
When you think of it, they are all expressions of love. As we unpacked them, we found that many of them blend together. Being kind sometimes looks like gentle words of encouragement, or thoughtful actions that benefit someone else. Being patient requires you to sometimes exercise self-control and not give into frustration. Being faithful means sticking by someone and showing them kindness. All of these attributes help to build and strengthen relationships. They can, however, be difficult to share when we are depleted ourselves. Note the start of the text: ‘But the fruit the Holy Spirit produces is…’ Our connection to God through the Holy Spirit fills us with everything we need so we can share his love with others. God wants us to flourish in our relationships. What kind of fruit will you serve others today?
God bless you and your relationships!