Friday, November 14, 2014

Where's Your ID?

A couple hours ago, Rachel and I got back home from Bakery BINGO, a school event sponsored by the PTO. I had left work at about 4 o'clock and gone to my parents' house to pick Rachel up. Once in the house, I realized I was still wearing my staff ID. We chatted awhile and then left for Bakery BINGO. Once again, I forgot to take off my lanyard. Consequently, I was probably the only person at the after-school event wearing their work ID.

School ID's are a new thing this year at Findlay High School. Some of the students are having a very hard time adjusting to remembering to wear their IDs every day. Unlike me, who sometimes forgets to take it off, many students leave theirs at home, or in their book bag, or out of sight in their pockets...which of course defeats the purpose of having the ID in the first place.

So, what is the purpose of the ID, anyway? It is a security measure to help differentiate who belongs in the school and who does not. The ID is intended to be the sign of a student, faculty, or staff member at the school.

Most of the faculty and staff have accepted this requirement. Many students are struggling. Some put on their ID when a teacher tells them they have to, and remove it as soon as the teacher isn't looking. They stash it in their pocket or their purse. Anyplace other than clearly visible as the rules state. I can almost guarantee that 99% of even the most compliant students take it off the instant they leave the building. The trouble is, when the ID is not worn regularly and properly, it is often lost or forgotten.

The ID of the Believer

What about the ID God wants His children to wear? What is it that He intends to be the identifying mark of a believer? The Apostle Paul writes:

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23a)

The fruit of the Spirit. THAT is the ID of the Christian. Do we wear our IDs all the time? Or only when we have to? 
  • Are we allowing God to grow patience in our hearts, or do we feel perfectly justified in letting patience fly out the window when someone cuts us off on the road?
  • Are our lives characterized by peace in the midst of difficult circumstances, or is peace nowhere to be found as soon as something goes wrong?
  • Are we consistently gentle with others? Not weak, mind you, but gentle. Or does gentleness get hidden away when it is not convenient?
  • Are we careful to display the fruit of the Spirit at church, and then stash it away when we get home to our families where fruit like patience, kindness, and peace is suddenly nowhere to be found.
I understand that we are all works in progress. No one has perfectly developed fruit of the Spirit in their lives. Growing fruit is the ID of the Christian. In some believers, the fruit is more mature than in others. But we all should have fruit at some stage of maturity growing in our lives. 

As long as we are listening to the Holy Spirit, His fruit will grow in us. When we ignore Him because it is not convenient to listen, the fruit withers away. Then, when we see that we need it...oops! isn't where we thought it was. 

Let's be sure to always wear our ID. Listen to the Holy Spirit and let Him grow His fruit in us.

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