Works of the Flesh (part three)

As believers, we must be willing to let the Spirit work through us. Not allowing His power to change us could be evidence of our having an appearance of godliness but denying its power (2 Timothy 3:5). In light of that, many things must be put to death within us immediately.

(Jealousy, Envy, Fits of Anger)=Selfishness Manifested

I feel like Yoda, “fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering…”

There is a definite link between all of these sins of discord, and it is unfortunate indeed. The above three are at the root of the matter. At the very heart of all divisions among believers is jealousy. As noted, jealousy could essentially be used in conjunction with selfishness.

A selfish person is out to make himself great, or relieve pain and stress from his own life, meanwhile neglecting others. So it manifests itself in these three sins. Now, there is a time of anger (godly anger being that against social injustice or disunity among believers), and God is described as jealous (Ex. 20:5 and many others). But this is refering to jealous and anger that stems from selfishness.

My example

Billy is Jim’s friend. One day, Jim decided that instead of hanging out with Billy (as they had done all week) he would hang out with his friend Jack from Chicago whom he hadn’t seen in over two years. Billy is immediately selfish, and thus jealous of Jack, and envious of their friendship. This shows itself when, in a fit of (selfish) anger, Billy decides to not bring Jim fishing with him so that Jim can think about how he should be a better friend towards Billy. That is selfishness manifested in jealousy, envy, and a fit of anger. Ultimately- it is pride. Billy is prideful, thinking that he is the only one worth spending time with and prideful in thinking that any other friends that come in must have less time with Jim then Billy does. Do you understand how stupid that is?

Enmity, Strife, Rivalries, Dissension, Divisions

These selfish actions lead to the above outcomes if they are not checked and corrected. Following the example I gave, there then is an enmity, which leads to strife between Billy and Jack. The two begin to be rivals for Jim’s attention. Dissension follows with the ugly outcome of division. Billy and Jim are no longer friends. The relationship between Jack and Billy is strained and eventually broken, and the three are in dire need of reconciliation.

The Only Hope

What if we start the story again. Only this time, Billy understands a few things:

  1. The world (and more specifically Jim) does not revolve around him
  2. He doesn’t have to always be with Jim to be his friend
  3. We need more than just one person impacting our life
  4. Christ suffered greater rejection than anyone ever (even God the Father turned His back on Him)
  5. Christ did not react in this manner, but instead gave his life for the Church
  6. As told by Philippians 2, we are supposed to reflect this humility

Humility

This is probably the most difficult thing to achieve in life. Billy is within all of us. The father who oppresses his kids; the husband who is controlling over his wife; the pastor whose word is greater than the Bible in his church. And as soon as I mentioned these examples, you immediately thought of someone you need to tell this to. Again, I say STOP IT! You know you are dealing with pride issues when you hear a challenging sermon, and instead of dealing with your sin, then dealing with your sin, then dealing with it again, then one more time- you focus on eight other people that need to hear the message. Hello Mr. Pharisee.

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