Choices by Mary Carothers
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Every day we make many choices: what we wear, what we eat, what we do.
This is also true in our spiritual lives – we choose between our will and God’s will.
Often the Holy Spirit convicts us through the godly example of another Christian. When He does, we make a choice. We can choose to humble ourselves (see I Peter 5:6) and submit to His correction and training, or we can choose to resist the Holy Spirit (see Acts 7:51). When we do resist, we nearly always become angry with the person God is using as an example. Early in my walk with Jesus, I observed this reaction among some Christians. I had a young friend who loved Jesus with all her heart. She was a beautiful example of a godly young woman and was an inspiration to me. Yet to my amazement, many of our Christian friends could say nothing good about her. The kindest critique was, “She is going overboard…she is becoming a fanatic!”
I wondered then how on earth they could feel this way, but through the years I have gained a little insight. As I now understand it, God used her example of a committed walk with Christ as an instrument to bring conviction to those of us with whom He desired a closer relationship. We each had a choice to make. We could submit ourselves to the mighty hand of God and let Christ be formed in us (see Galatians 4:19) or we could resist the Holy Spirit. Those who resisted the conviction of the Holy Spirit, responded by criticizing her. This led me to believe that a critical spirit is often born out of a heart that is resisting the Holy Spirit. Conviction of sin is one of the primary functions of the Holy Spirit in the life of every believer (see John 16:8).
Now when I feel anger or resentment, I check myself to see if the Lord may be trying to say something to me. Are my words and actions pleasing to Him? What about my attitudes? Jesus, are you trying to teach me something?
Let’s ask the Lord to help us grow in having a humble, teachable spirit.