The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: immorality, debauchery, idolatry, hatred, jealousy, selfish ambition, envy, drunkenness and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5: 19-26)
A friend recently reminisced that they had been Chutney Monitor at school. Chutney was not an option at my school lunches. I was somewhat confused whether this role was a remnant from public school fagging (Where’s my chutney, Tom Brown?) or a recognition of merit.
I was reminded of a Congress dinner at which an attendee had requested a second pat of butter with his bread roll. The request was politely declined by the waiter. ‘Do you know who I am?’ stormed the outraged diner, who proceeded to list the senior appointments he held within government. ‘Do you know who I am?’ replied the waiter. ‘I am the person in charge of the butter, and there is only one pat per person’.
In God’s eyes, we are all of immense and equal importance. He does not differentiate in the love that he has and the forgiveness that he offers to each of us. Early churches adopted a circular structure, wherein by our shortcomings we all stand shoulder to shoulder equally before God.
Once we have sought forgiveness from Jesus, and whatever role we have in life, there is expectation that we will use it to exhibit the behaviours that Jesus has asked of us. Expectations of love for others, joyfulness, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
All qualities that are needed for a Chutney Monitor.
Lord Jesus, we pray
that we may be filled with the Holy Spirit each day anew;
that we will reflect your grace to us in our behaviours to others,
and that we will become both the salt and light in our communities.