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Character Camp

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

Years ago, I ran camps for young kids. Our mission was to place the pieces of God’s character into the hearts and minds of His children through interactive dramas. The kids would “step into the shoes” of children living in developing countries, learning what it was like to live without clean water and other basic needs.

I remember one particular camp where we focused on God’s compassion for the poor. I drew a picture of Jesus’ heart on a large whiteboard, dividing it into pieces shaped like those of a puzzle. I labeled each piece with a different fruit of the Spirit, writing “love” and “compassion” on the two largest ones. As I stood back to observe my drawing, a realization dropped into my own heart. Wow! That’s not what my heart looks like.

What about you? Looking at the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal.5:22-23), which character camp would you sign up for? Or better yet, which one would God nudge you to attend?

  • Is God asking you to love people who are difficult to love?

  • Are you constantly searching for happiness but God wants your heart full of joy?

  • Is your anxious heart longing for peace each and every day?

  • Do you struggle to be patient in long lines, traffic, or with loved ones?

  • Is your first response in a difficult situation anger or kindness?

  • Are there areas of your life that would benefit from more self-control?

  • Or maybe you need more goodness, faithfulness or gentleness to rule in your heart instead of bitterness, un-forgiveness, or envy?

Life is one long character camp. God is always at work places the pieces of His heart into us. He is never done molding us into the likeness of Jesus. Once you’ve improved in one area, don’t be surprised when you round the next corner and bump into the next thing God wants you to work on. Remember…

The LORD, our Father is the potter. We are the clay. We are all the work of His hands. – Isaiah 64:8

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#hope #joy #truth #love #peace

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