Companion Blog Post
Write Your Life With Grace, Fruit of the Spirit Guided Journal
December: A Month of Humility
Concept Week 4
Concept: Humility uses wisdom and gentleness to bring people together.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate (peacemaker) instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.” Matthew 5:9 (MSG)
The situation I’m in is far from peaceful. My mind is clouded with the argument from yesterday. She and I did not see eye-to-eye. We each think we are right about an event that took place that left both of us reeling. The irony was not lost on me that this was about character and I just wrote a book on character. That’s God’s gentle reminder to evaluate my heart.
A breakdown of the above concept looks like this: Humility is not shame (weakness). Humility (strength) puts others first out of love. Wisdom is knowing how to rightly apply knowledge in any given situation, for the benefit of all parties involved. Gentleness gets the point across without bashing, degrading, or condemning.
In the argument, did I put her first out of love? Did I rightly apply knowledge for both of our benefits? Did I give my side of the story in a gentle way? This is tricky. Because the argument was over an event. We both agree the event was wrong and upsetting. We disagree on the cause. We argued over the cause. We hashed the facts surrounding the cause.
The thing about the fruit of the Spirit, the reason they are character traits, is because they can blossom in the mess. These disciplines—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—are not just some foo-foo concepts for a kumbaya moment around the campfire. They require that I am humble, grateful, and forgiving. Once I choose these pre-requisites, my soul is available to freely grow the fruit of the Spirit.
How would the argument have looked different if in the moment, I looked for something, anything, to be grateful for? What if I would have asked her for forgiveness? What if I would have immediately forgiven her, even though she didn’t ask for it? What if instead of trying to prove my point, I gently listened to understand her pain? How would the days following this altercation look different after applying these principles? More peaceful, maybe?
In the above verse, Jesus is not suggesting that we be peacekeepers. A peacekeeper gives up their voice or opinion just to “keep the peace.” Another word for that is codependent. A peacemaker can bring people together (or set healthy boundaries) and show them how to cooperate in wisdom and humility, even if they have different convictions or opinions.
Me and her? We might need to set some healthy boundaries. And I need to engage the struggle in my heart.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.” –Matthew 5:8 (MSG)
Will you be a peacekeeper or a peacemaker at the Christmas gathering? How did it go? Come back and share in the comments!
–Tara Schiro is the author of the newly released, Write Your Life With Grace, Fruit of the Spirit Guided Journal (October, 2016, Xulon Press), and No Arms, No Legs, No Problem, the memoir of bronze-medal Paralympian (Quad Rugby), Bob Lujano. Both books are available on Amazon.com, Ingram, and Barnes & Noble. TaraSchiro.com