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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Devotion: Transforming Culture

Galatians 5:22-23 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

The New York Times ran a recent article about TV personality Dr. Drew's new series called Celebrity Rehab and his tension as part reality TV star, part therapist. The article was interesting because Dr. Drew talked about how he sees himself as treating celebrities narcissistic need for attention, yet entices them with the allure of TV. He argues that he has to use the media to promote his therapeutic message. Sadly, it seems as though the church and faith have the same perspective, packaging the Gospel into culturally savvy marketing strategies.
Rather than viewing the Christian faith as something that tries to inspire and push us to live a life radically different than our cultures, many of our faiths look identical to the world around us.

In Galatians 5, Paul contrasts the cultural forces with the Fruits of the Spirit. These fruits are the outward demonstrations of our inward faith. Paul also argues that we should not conform to the pressures of this world, but seek to influence and transform the world because of our faith convictions.
One question that I was once asked, and continue to wrestle with, is: "What earthly difference does Jesus Christ make right now?" Rather than focusing on heavenly rewards one day, or discarding Christianity as historical event, this question addresses an essential faith question-how does Jesus Christ make a difference in my daily life?
One of the ways in which we can see the earthly difference Jesus Christ makes in our life is to see how these fruits grow and develop in our lives.
What ways are you showing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Which area needs to grow within your life?
In Christ,

Rev. Wes Barry

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