Giving people the right reason to be proud of us is important.
A weight lifter friend of mine used to say, “Short term pain leads to long term gain.” The Bible speaks about the fruits of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. Paul was answering those who were bragging about external appearances rather than a changed heart.
Gifts are bestowed but fruits are grown. The fruits of the Spirit—such as love, joy, and peace, are often cultivated in the soil of trials and tribulations. The gifts of God can come quickly, but the fruits of His Spirit are developed over time. The Corinthians Paul confronted were guilty of dwelling on the spectacular aspects of ministry and missing the godly character traits exhibited by Paul and his followers. The things we sometimes prize are nothing more than wood, hay, and stubble that are easily consumed when the fiery trials appear.
Jesus said, But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven (Luke 10:20 NLT). We should be excited that we are a child of the King and are being conformed to His image.
Don’t brag about what you can do for Christ but rather on who you are in Him.
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