The Need for a Long Fuse

Galatians 5:22

It was long before the realism of the John Madden video game. It was a metal board where you placed plastic men. The football was a piece of cotton you attached to your running back. Each player carefully set up their men and then you flipped the switch. The board vibrated and hopefully your men went where you wanted them to go. When a defensive man touched the player with the wad of cotton, it was a tackle.

Now I had played football since the youngest midget league in town. My brother, Ron, three years younger, on the other hand was not into football as a kid. I would set my men up in the latest spread formation or winged T. He would haphazardly put his men on the board, but every time we turned the stupid thing on, his player tackled my runner every time. Then when he was on offense, his little plastic player would vibrate through my entire team without getting touched. One day I lost it. I took the board and hit him right over the head. At this stage in my childhood I definitely needed what only the Holy Spirit could give me—a long fuse. Man, did I have a temper.

“Now the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience—literarily “taking a long time to get heated,” kindness, and goodness …” Gal. 5:22

Ron and his wife are coming to visit us all the way from Georgia. It’s been a long time since either of us lost our temper, and I can hardly wait to enjoy his kindness and goodness. Thank God my parents didn’t just tell me, “Work on that temper!” Instead, especially my mom stressed, “Submit to Jesus’ Spirit, David.  He made your heart his home the minute you believed, and that new ‘David’ doesn’t lose his temper. Instead, he can be kind and good by grace!”

LORD, it’s awesome to see how you are using my brother as a godly leader in business, a wise Sunday school teacher, and as a member of Word of Life’s Board of Directors. I’m confident both dad and mom are proud that they did pass on that incredible gift of salvation by faith by grace alone to each of their kids. Thanks that your Spirit is still in the fruit business.

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