Giving Up or Giving In – Internet Cafe Devotions

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

After looking at the verse in Galatians, what specific “fruit” (love, joy, peace…) do you find yourself lacking in your daily life? Give an example if you can.

What circumstance in your life shows your weakness with the specific “fruit” you mentioned above.

Growing up, I heard a constant refrain from my mum “you are too impatient!” Over the years, I don’t think I’ve gotten any better. It is not as though I have not tried to become more patient or asked God to make me more patient it’s just that each time I think I am finally improving, something happens to show me that that is still a problem in my life.

I wrote some time ago about two teenagers I was working with, I even did an update post then yesterday, I asked them both to stop coming to me. Well, I told them the agreement we made was cancelled and I was stepping back from their matter and issues. OK, I have never been known for patience; that is one of my greatest faults – I am very impatient. Still, I don’t know if this course of action is a sign of impatience.

I discovered these children had been telling me series of lies and worse still, they were using me! At least it felt that way. The girl (Felicia) stayed with me in my flat for two weeks and I tried to be a friend to her. I let her know I was available anytime if she wanted to talk. And guess what? The very day I released her to go back home, she went straight to the boy’s (Francis) house and they had sex. According to her, that was the first time. I felt so hurt and I was even more distressed when she told me she did not know if they used protection! I wanted to bash her head against the concrete floor! Where the mission base is located in Plateau State, has a high rate of HIV/AIDS infected people. The mission clinic holds a counseling class for them each week and you would be astounded at the number of people who attend. Then this Felicia girl tells me that against all advice and pleas, she still went ahead and had sex with a boy from that area without protection! If I thought or suspected that she was stupid before, now I have ample proof. (I’m still so mad!)

Looking at the facts before me, I felt I was not doing them any good. I told them that I did not see the usefulness of their continuing to come to me since they ignored everything I said. They tell me what they think I want to hear then go behind my back and do whatever they please. Therefore, I freed them of any obligation they felt they had to me.

It was not easy for me. I was miserable for the rest of the day. I felt as though I was giving up on them. I kept asking myself if I was giving up or merely giving in to the inevitable. I wondered if maybe I should have been more patient with them. I still don’t know. I am not a very patient person, though in my defense, I try. When the misery got unbearable later in the night, I decided to take it to the most patient One. I prayed and told God of my decision and why I felt the need to take that decision. I told him I was not happy with it but I did not know what to do. Then I said that if He felt that he wanted to unfold his plans for their lives and use me in the process, then he should bring them to my doorstep today (I told you I’m not patient). That way, no one would be forcing them to come to me. Francis would not have the threat of prosecution hanging over his head and neither would Felicia have the fear of her uncle as a motivator. Then, it would mean they really wanted to be helped and though they might make mistakes, it would still be a partnership. I felt much better after that prayer. I forgot to ask for patience, I think I’ll do just that now.

With everything that had happened, you can imagine my surprise when I opened the internet cafe devotions website and saw the question posed above. It was like a sharp elbow under my spiritual ribs. That actually, was what inspired me to say the prayer above. So now, I’m waiting (learning patience too). So over to you, which of the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit do you find missing in your life?

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5 Responses to “Giving Up or Giving In – Internet Cafe Devotions”

  1. Sharon, You’ve touched on the hardest issue of parenting (for me) there was….you care for them, you see the potential long term consequences of their stupid choices, you’re an authority figgure in their life, yet, they thumb their nose @ you anyway…as you said, you want to thump them- hard.

    I wrote about my thoughts here: http://hearttoheart.wordpress.com/2008/01/06/when-your-christian-child-strayswhat-to-do-in-the-meantime/

    so I won’t repeat myself. You have the qualities of a good mentor- you care, you’re tough, you’re articulate, and you’re a believer. just keep blogging like you’re doing and not allow the frustration to sit and fester and you’ll be fine. DM

  2. Sometimes tough love is the road you have to take. That doesn’t mean impatience. That means that people need to learn the consequences of their actions. Waiting and watching takes patience as well!

  3. Thanks so much both DM and lwayswright! DM as usual, you are always a great source of encouragement to me and I am beginning to depend on you, lwayswright for that. God bless you

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