Day 32: Gathering the Fruit of Life Principles
I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63.8
Every person has roots, foundations and principles that provide stability in the garden of our spiritual life.
Young people learn from adults and also conduct their own life experiments where they learn life principles and develop a moral compass to guide them through life.
As we age and grow we will find friends, teachers and mentors who influence us and add to this foundation. We learn who God is and what God’s law means. We discover and examine the teachings of Christ.
We form a core of beliefs that steady us as we reach forward for our life’s purpose.
Along the way there are choices to make—ethics to live by or to ignore. The gospel of compassion that comes from Jesus Christ is the ultimate ethic that one might choose.
Our moral core influences our actions each day. Jesus’s choices were guided by his relationship with his Father. Jesus did what he saw the Father doing. He was also committed to friends, his mother and the invisible and overlooked people of society. Jesus is our example when we wonder what we should do.
Jesus was also committed to his faith community. As a boy, he studied the Torah (Old Testament). This law plus the law of love written on his heart by God, shaped his understanding of the world and all his actions.
Jesus’s understanding of the world, and his actions, got him into trouble with the people of his day. We call him “countercultural” then and now. Understanding Scripture, and Jesus’s loving interpretation of God’s message to us, is key to living ethically, with mercy and compassion in our day. Jesus consistently applied his principles to his ordinary life, and his consistency of belief and actions is what made his life so extraordinary.
If we live this way, we should expect to be misunderstood, alienated and persecuted at times—at home, at work and even in the church. We may be rejected by friends or organizations we seek to serve.
What are the principles that root you and assure that your life will flower and blossom and bear fruit like Jesus?
Sit quietly in God’s presence for 5 minutes. Notice how your body transitions to stillness as you quiet your heart and wait for God.
In your journal, number from 1-10. What are the core principles and people you cling to and live by?. Here are some starter phrases:
- I commit to
- I value
- These people
- My Life
- I cling to
- The structure of
- My parents taught me
- As a child I learned
- As an adult I
- Jesus shows me
- God reveals
If you are taking the 10-40 challenge that Dennis Anderson gave us on the first week of the GROW series, try this reading plan that will take us through the Book of Galatians in 3 days. Dennis urged us to do 10 minutes of Bible reading each day, for 40 days. Galatians is a good book to read this week, while we are reflecting on gathering fruits.
Did you miss the intro? Start here.
[This six-week devotional is based on a daily life retreat by Pegge Bernecker and her book, Your Spiritual Garden: tending to the presence of God. St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2006.]