Yesterday we finished our Summer series exploring the Fruit of the Spirit. This week we reflect on Galatians 5 where they are found.
15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Reading those opening words reminds me of the story of Little Red Riding Hood (I’ve just been reading a book inspired by that and other fairy stories). There are all sorts of ways of interpreting that well known story, but one obvious contrast in it is that between the Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood. The Wolf thinks only of itself, devouring the Grandmother and trying to devour Little Red Riding Hood. Red, on the other hand, thinks of her Grandmother. The Wolf’s life leads to pain and ultimately its own death. Red’s, however, seeks to give life and love.
In many ways, we can be like the wolf, thinking of ourselves, and harming others in the process. We can’t always help ourselves, it’s our fallen human nature – and that’s the Wolf’s excuse as well, its doing just what animals do. But it’s still wrong. And this is where the Spirit is so vital! His work in us frees us from that and enables us to live for others if we chose to.
Spirit, help me to walk in step with you, even if it goes against my instincts.