My husband is great at making lists. He makes grocery lists, miscellaneous stuff to buy lists, things to do lists, password lists, addresses of businesses we want to check out. He uses little spiral notebooks for most of these lists. But the other day he lost his most recent book. Fortunately, we tracked it down at the plumbing supply company and retrieved it today.
Sometimes I make lists, too. I need to keep track of the Christmas gifts and recipients. Or people we have sent Christmas cards to.
Did you know that there are lists in the Bible, too? There are many genealogy lists, lists of sins, lists of various gifts of the Spirit given to the church. Our favorite list is found in Galatians 5:22-23, where Paul outlines the characteristics that the Spirit of God produces in us as we mature. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Who wouldn’t want to be full of those qualities?
My husband likes to quote that list to people he is conversing with about serious issues. He sends the list in e-mails to our grandchildren. He reminds our senior Sunday School class friends of them. And every time I hear the list, I am reminded, too. And challenged. You see, when we practice living according to the Spirit’s leading, we avoid many of the relational problems we often have. The verse (Galatians 5:23 b) goes on to say that there isn’t any law against these traits. Of course not. They are all wonderful.
So what’s on your list today? More than groceries, I hope. Let’s keep this list of delicious, beautiful, heart-warming, enriching, nutritional, nurturing gifts in our hearts and minds as we go about our daily activities. When we dwell on these, don’t you think our habits might change? Wouldn’t it make a difference in our relationships?