Monday, 10 March 2014

Fruit of the Spirit

22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.   Galatians 5:22-25 New Revised Standard Version

I have been reading and hearing a lot lately about the “Busters” and “Mosaics”, i.e. those ages 19 to 29 and their opinions about church and more specifically Christians.  The book unChristian by David Kinnaman, President of the Barna (Research) Group, goes into great detail depicting what this age group believes. 

What saddens me is that in many cases I agree with the perceptions of those in this age group.  I am also aware that many young people who grew up in a “Christian” home and go off to university do not come back to church.

Like many people I tend to get on a hobby horse and ride it until drops.  Stated another way once I form what is usually a critical opinion about something I keep talking about it until everyone around me is bored to death.

I’m convinced that the real problem lies not with us hypocritical, intolerant, self-righteous Christians but with the households in which these young adults grow up.  If as a young person your parents just dropped you off for church but didn’t attend or worse yet attended but did not live their life in a way that reflected Christ, no wonder you want no part of Christianity.

If these same young people grow up in a home where the father is either not present physically and/or emotionally: where the father isn’t a servant leader, protector and provider; and where the father fails to live out and instill Christian values in his children it is no wonder young people fail to see the relevance of religion.

If the model of marriage these young people observe is a highly dysfunctional, quarrelsome, and/or combative relationship it is no wonder that young people feel the Bible has little to offer in way of practical advice.

I believe we are losing the young people because they have not witnessed Christ in our homes..

Look at the list of the Fruit of the Spirit. In what ways can you say, “I’m a different person because of the impact God’s Word has made in my life”?”   Can we see the persistent, guiding, transforming work of Christ in our own lives?  Is it evident to those who live with us?

 

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