Inside/Outside #17

The acts of the flesh are obvious: envy….murder….strife

As I continue my exhaustive look into those character traits by which we allow our lives to be governed from the unchecked inside, our potential has to do with the results of envy, murder and strife.

It is from a heart that devises wicked imaginations that create situations that are ripe for envy and strife resulting in a ‘murder of sorts’. This is a rabid, radical and revolutionary conduct which has a profound and attimes permanent impact upon the person or persons who are the objects of this malicious behavior. Little wonder then that the object and purpose of our gathering together around the devotional table, the pulpit table or the Lord’s Table is to alter and change the inside so that the outside will produce a different kind of fruit.

By definition, envy is a feeling of discontentment or a resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions or qualities. An envious person is one who has a desire to have a quality, possession or some other desirable thing belonging to another. Can we not see how that if that is what governs from the inside that the rabid, radical and revolutionary results on the outside will impact your life and the lives of others who are within the sphere of your influence?

By definition, strife is angry or bitter disagreement over fundamental issues or conflict within a community to which I add be it the family or the church with its many associations. No one of us likes the word angry or bitter. However, that is what the ‘old man’ with his deeds is potentially subject to. The only power to rise above the threat is to put on the ‘new man’ created after the image of Jesus Christ.

By definition, murder is, in addition to our normal understanding of the word, the killing you try and or succeed inputting to an end or causing the failure or defeat of someone or something. In the context of this devotional and as it relates to the church and to those within it concerning whom you are envious or are striving there should and of necessity be a putting away the sword of Satan and put on the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.