Remix: Student Devotionals

Fruit of the Spirit Pt. 3 - Week 1, Day 1

Day 1
Angry Eyes

Are you a gentle person or an angry person? Do you find yourself getting upset over things that aren't worth getting upset over?

There was a farmer who raised watermelons. He was doing pretty well, but he was upset because some local kids would sneak into his watermelon patch at night and eat his watermelons. After some careful thought, he came up with the idea that he thought would scare the kids away for sure. So he made up a sign and posted it in the field. The next day the kids showed up, and they saw the sign. It said, "Warning, one of the watermelons in this field has been injected with cyanide."

The kids ran off, and they decided to make their own sign and post it next to the farmer's sign. So the farmer showed up the next week, and when he looked over the field, he noticed that no watermelons were missing, but he noticed a new sign next to his. So he drove up to the sign, and it read, "Now there are two."

During a little league game, the coach said to one of his young players, "Do you understand what cooperation is? What a team is?" The little boy nodded yes. "Do you understand that what matters is whether we win together as a team?" Again, the little boy nodded yes. "So," the coach continued, "When a strike is called, or you're out at first, you don't argue or curse or attack the umpire. Do you understand all that?" Again the little boy nodded. Finally, the coach said, "Good, now go over there and explain it to your mother."

One of the most natural reactions we have as human beings is anger. If we are honest, we get angry a lot. It makes us mad when someone offends us. It makes us mad when we don't get our way, and we get angry when things don't work out the way we think they should.

Is there a better way to handle all of our frustrations and disappointments than just to let it rip on someone else? You're probably thinking, "No," but the Bible says rather than attacking someone with anger, we should be gentle instead.

I bet you carry around regrets for words that you said in anger. I bet there have been times in your life that you wanted to take those words you said back and slam them back down your throat because you saw first hand the damage your words did to the other person.

Gentleness is missing in so many homes. People are yelling and screaming at each other, and it feels like World War 3. Gentleness is missing in so many friendships. They didn't do, or you didn't do what they thought you should do, and so you let them have it with both barrels, and now your friendship is dying because you didn't treat the other person or they didn't treat you with gentleness.

Gentleness is not a wimpy word where everyone can take advantage of you. The word gentleness in Greek means "strength under control."

It's the picture of a wild stallion that's been broken and tamed. You have a powerful animal, yet that animal is gentle enough for you to climb on his back and ride it. That's the way Jesus wants us to be. He wants us to be people who will respond to all situations under control.

Jesus doesn't want us to overreact. He doesn't want us to say something that we will later regret.

You might be asking how in the world is this even possible? Let's face it, the characteristics in Galatians 5:22 that God wants us to have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control don't come naturally to us.

These characteristics come from us letting go of the control of our life and daily surrendering our lives over to the control of God.

John 15:5 Jesus said, "I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing."

What can you do apart from God? Gentleness is supernatural stuff, and if we don't completely rely upon God every moment of every day, we will blow it big time.

We have to start our day, spend our day, and end our day with God. We need to pray every day, "Less of me, God, and more of you. Don't let me do anything that would get in the way of what you want to accomplish in my life." It is a daily surrender, sometimes it's hourly, and sometimes it's minute by minute.

Are you a gentle person, or are you an angry person with angry eyes? Are you relying upon God, or are you just letting it rip? I think it's time for a time-out.

Time Out:
Are you more of a gentle person, or are you more of an angry person?

Why is it so easy to rip on someone else rather than be gentle with them?

Has anyone ever ripped on you?

How did that make you feel?

Proverbs 15:1 says, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Have you ever been in a situation that was getting pretty tense, and you calmed the tension down? What did you do that caused that to happen?

Because gentleness does not come naturally to us, how can you depend upon God more each moment of every day?

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. Proverbs 15:1