What are your squabbles over? What is it others do that offends you? What is it you do that offends others? Are those things really important? Why is it we allow the smallest things to set us off on a tirade or at least irritate us?
There are some things others do that can irritate us to no end. It may be their disorganization or the repetitive phrases they use when they talk or their taste in music or their lack of caring or their susceptibility to believe nearly everything they hear.
We all have our pet peeves. We all have triggers that cause us to roll our eyes, make snide remarks, or explode in anger or disgust. Too often, we write it off as “we are who we are.” Yet, what if we could control it? We can. It’s called self-control and it is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). So, how do we get this fruit? By allowing the Holy Spirit to work within us and willingly give up ourselves.
Paul uses an example of a squabble within the church in Rome in today’s passage. There was a disagreement over what kinds of food to eat, and whether food sacrificed to idols was allowed. Paul tells the church the food doesn’t matter as long as we have asked God’s blessing over it. Paul is reminding the church that everything we have is provided by God, no matter what some may think or do with it.
He says that we are to pursue righteousness, peace, and joy. They come from the Holy Spirit. They are gifts from God…if we are willing to accept them. Just like any gift we may give or receive on any occasion, we have the option to accept them or reject them. We can have all of these and decide not to get upset by what goes on around us. It’s a choice of accepting God or continuing to live as everyone else in this world.
I pray we all decide to accept the gifts God is willing to give us. I pray we accept the Holy Spirit working in our lives. I pray each of us seek righteousness, peace, and joy through the Holy Spirit. Be free of your pet peeves. Accept the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to work in your life. Seek righteousness. Seek peace. Seek joy. Know that God will give them to you.
Romans 14:17-18 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peaceand joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.