But, the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5: 22-23
There are many dilemmas that occur in our lives which force us to make a decision as to where we stand for right or wrong. However, many factors influence what we view as acceptable or unacceptable thoughts, behaviors. and actions. Individualized life experience plays a major role in shaping our character. For example, children who did not have enough food and figured out how to utilize stealing to meet this necessity, may not honor the commandment of “Thou shalt not steal” or the societal laws regarding “larceny or embezzlement” as adults.
There are differences in an individual’s Character vs Personality:
“Personality refers to the combination of qualities, attitude and behavior, that makes a person distinct from others. Character refers to a set of moral and mental qualities and beliefs, that makes a person different from others. … At the same time, character indicates the traits of a person which are hidden from sight.”
It is the hidden traits of a person that make it almost impossible to find out who they really are. I can remember a co-worker commenting on the ineffectiveness of pre-employment psychological evaluations as a waste of time for those with enough intelligence to beat the test. There are certain facial grimaces that may expose the possibility of hateful or uncontrolled anger tendencies; but what about the individuals who have been trained to keep a stoic or flat expression? No, it is impossible for human beings to know what is hidden inside of others; and often we may not be aware of what our hidden traits are until “the right situation exposes who we really are.”
Galatians 5:16-21 tells us we are in a spiritual battle involving our selfish desires:
If you are Guided by the spirit, you will not obey your selfish desires. The spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should. But if you obey the spirit, the law of Moses has no control over you.
People’s desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful Deeds. They worship idols, practice witchcraft, hate others, and are hard to get along with. People become jealous, angry, and selfish. They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are in this. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well. I told you before, and I am telling you again: No one who does these things will share in the blessings of God’s Kingdom. (Contemporary English Version)
Galatians was written by the Apostle Paul in a time where wickedness had infiltrated the church, as it has today. Sin never fails in standing strong, it is always present. The law of Moses-The Ten Commandments-provides God’s standards for relationships with him and others. Because we are sinful, God could not leave it up to us to define His expectations in our daily lives. Hidden traits are not hidden with God; we may deceive others and even ourselves, however, before God we are totally exposed.
If you are ready to know your hidden traits, ask God to reveal them through His Holy Spirit. The challenge of accepting and asking God to implement change is always a personal choice. God is waiting for us to possess the Fruit of the Spirit; He is always the Victor in the spiritual battle of life.
…You have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss…James 4:2-3
Prayer for today: Dear God, I am asking you to reveal my hidden traits. Once they are revealed, I am asking for the strength to accept the truth, and the humbleness to invite the Holy Spirit into my life that I may be transformed according to your standards. Hear my prayer, O Lord that I may do your will. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Sonya Johnson Ruiz