There is a wild gal within me, and she is SO MUCH FUN!
She whoops and hollers at football games. She waves and dances in church.
She plays worship music really, really loudly and mouths the words while she vacuums. She buys chocolate for the kids and then eats it all on the way home.
Spontaneity is her best bud. She can wheel around on a dime and change course and charge ahead in a completely different direction.
And the projects…
She can think of something new and creative almost every minute of every day. Pinterest is like candy, and she can gorge herself until she is about to burst with enthusiasm.
She loves passionately, laughs hilariously, fights valiantly.
She leaves a wake of destruction as she passes.
She says things without thinking or shares too much, whoops at the wrong time, stands up and dances when everyone else is sitting down.
When the projects become “work,” or when she becomes bored and loses interest, they are stacked up in the corner, never to be finished. As soon as a creative, new routine becomes “routine” she tosses it in the trash.
Her passion can turn to disgust, her laugh into a pouting pity-party, her fight for all the wrong things.
In actuality, listening to the Wild Gal throws my life into chaos, and chaos makes me sick.
There is only one way to tame her:
the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.
Yes, those words that conjure up shackles and prison matrons in starched grey uniforms with scowls on their faces are just what I need in my life.
In fact, all moms need self-discipline because all moms need FREEDOM!
I know what you are thinking, “Sherry, there is no way self-discipline will make me free. What I need is less responsibility, more money, kids that help out, a husband that understands, and a robot that does dishes!”
Really? I don’t think so. I believe people who have less responsibility, more money, and maids to do everything for them are some of the most imprisoned people on the earth. No amount of money or absence of demands can help someone who can’t control themselves. If you really sit down and think about it, lack of restraint leads to chaos, and chaos is the defining characteristic of hell.
Venting, expressing, and indulging lead to slavery.
Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.
Unfortunately, that’s where we live some days, in our own hell on earth. We live in chaos because we are unable to control our emotional ups-and-downs. We fly from one thing to another, from one “mood” to another, because we have no anchor, no hope, no strength.
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
When I was born again, there was a definite change in my life. Immediately there was a strength that emanated from somewhere deep inside me, one that helped me to overcome my own passions. I didn’t understand it at the time, but it was unmistakable. If you are twice-born, you know what I am talking about. It was as if I was a totally new person, and I was.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17
And with this new creation, we are given a new Spirit:
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7
This is the place of freedom in Christ. We are no longer bound by a set of unattainable standards and rigid rules. But this is where we often misunderstand; the rules have not been done away with, they have become part of our make-up. We don’t wear them on the outside, they are part of every cell, down to our DNA.
This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
Did you read that? LIFE and PEACE. That’s what it means to have the Spirit operating in our lives, the reason we seek to overcome ourselves. Our rewards are the abundant life Christ promised and the peace that passes all understanding.
After all, it’s not about our physical surroundings, it’s our reactions to them. It’s whether or not we listen to the emotions conjured up by a flesh that is set on immediate gratification. It’s about allowing the Spirit within to cancel out the voices in our minds.
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey–whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
We are not free to disobey, we are free to obey, willingly, with joy.
Finally, can have victory over destructive habits and tendencies that stand in the way of true freedom. We can overcome ourselves.
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no Law.
Galatians 5: 22-23
We get there by following Paul’s advice in Romans 12:2:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
And again he goes into greater depth in Ephesians 4:17-24:
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
That’s what it all boils down to, what we need to remember over and over. Our spirits are new, but our minds are not.
Notice here that Paul makes it clear; the transformation of our flesh is not automatic, it takes effort. Our minds need to be changed, transformed, and there is only one way to do it; by meditating on the Word of God.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Instead of giving in to the Wild Gal, I have wrestled her down and changed her way of thinking.
By constant meditation in the Word of God, I have pointed her in a fresh direction.
Her ears are tuned in to a different station. She takes her passionate energy and uses it for God’s glory.
She doesn’t call attention to herself. She points to Jesus.
She isn’t afraid of work or tedium; walking with God makes every task worthwhile because her focus is on the eternal.
Before she starts a project, she prays and listens for the voice of the Holy Spirit. He leads and guides her so that her energy, time, and money are not wasted.
She still loves, laughs, and fights, but for all the right reasons, at the right times.
Do you have a Wild Gal on the inside, too?
Just for fun, share some of her bad habits and how you (hopefully) have overcome them in the comments below: