A Blank Canvas

By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:22-26 (NRSV)

Many years ago, Kendra Lelie, from Pennsylvania, took a plein air landscape painting class using oil paints. She loved the idea of painting landscapes while surrounded by nature, but she was not very good at it. Fortunately, oil paints take a while to dry; so when you mess up you simply wipe the paint off the canvas with a knife and start again?

Kendra imagined God's hand in her life the same way. She start each day with a blank canvas. The colors that result on her canvas can be from the fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Or they can be from her prideful self - her judgment, negativity, selfishness. She can see the colors of the Spirit as bright yellows, oranges, blues and greens and the colors of pride as drab and gray.

At the end of the day, when she finds that she has messed up and her canvas is full of drab and gray colors, God wipes it clean. Then Kendra can start a new day with a blank canvas so that God can paint vibrant colors of the fruit of the Spirit and begin a masterpiece in her.

We can be just like Kendra. Each day is a new opportunity to begin fresh, on a clean canvas, and allow God to create in us a beautiful picture full of bright and vibrant colors, or we can rely on ourselves to paint a picture which often ends up in grays and drab colors. The choice is ours.

Prayer: Dear Lord, give us wisdom to know that You are always here with Your grace to forgive our sins. May we know that we are always welcome in your presence. May we show Your presence to those around us by displaying the colors of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control, in Jesus' name, amen.

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