Would you be surprised if you got lemonade from squeezing oranges? You say to yourself, well they looked like oranges when I squeezed them. James 3:12 asks the question, can a fig tree bear olive berries or the olive berry vine bear figs? One of the reasons there’s contentions in the body of Christ is because we’ve not been transparent with each other in letting others really see who and what we struggle with. And then when something sour comes out of us, like a lemon, folks are taken off guard because, from all appearances, we look like we’d produce orange juice. The true test of who you are is when the pressure is applied and you’re under the big squeeze.
The enemy of your soul knows this and does everything he can to stress you out. The answer isn’t to avoid stress, that’s almost impossible in today’s world. The answer is to make sure when pressure comes, that it’s good fruit juice, not spoiled, that’s squeezed out of you. Jesus says in Mark 7:21 that what comes out the heart defiles a man; evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. The word defile here means unholy. Is there unholiness in you? Are you trying to suppress it instead of letting God purge it out of you? As Christians, self-control is one of the fruits of the spirit mentioned in Gal. 5:22 that we should display, but part of the process of God dealing with your heart is an ability to be transparent with others you trust.
James 5:16 says you are to confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. If we want to avoid strife in the body of Christ, we must learn to not judge each other, but console one another with loving kindness. God meant for the church to be a real place of compassion where hurting people can go and be healed by His hand through others, so when life applies pressure we each can be strong and also able to admit when we’re weak and need help.
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