Carbs and conflict, volunteering and vexation, opposition and offense. These are things I try to avoid.

Carbs, empty carbs, because I’m trying to maintain a healthy body. I have people who depend on me and grandchildren to enjoy. I can’t do either if I’m not healthy. Talk about self-control, this is tough when you love bread.

Conflict, if there’s supposed to be a good kind, I haven’t discovered that yet. I have a prideful streak still lingering in me, so a simple difference of opinion sometimes seems like a major disagreement. This creates stress and embarrassment.

Volunteering, because I’m running out of bandwidth. I often feel obligated to put my hand up to take on a task, but that just isn’t realistic in this season of life. I am the primary caregiver for my sweet sister and I’m caring more and more for my 90-year-old mother. I had to learn to say no without feeling guilty about it. This season of my life has been prioritized by God. Who am I to mess with that?

Vexation, because for me it is an output of being over-worked, over-tired, over-extended, and offended. Ecclesiastes 7:9 says only fools get angry quickly and hold a grudge. This is not a good look, but more importantly, it robs me of God’s peace.

Opposition, because I am very sensitive to rejection. This is something the Holy Spirit recently revealed to me. Every disagreement (usually caused by my pride) has the potential to bring hurt and rejection. I’ve surrendered this to the Holy Spirit and it is getting better day by day.

Offense, because an unforgiven offense leads to bitterness, and bitterness hardens one’s heart and may even result in physical ailments. Bitterness must be avoided. Oh, it also leads to wrinkles and a scowl you don’t want to see looking back at you in the mirror. I’d like to grow in wisdom by listening to good counsel and accept discipline without being offended (Proverbs 19:20). Lord, please make me unoffendable.

Realizing these things about myself isn’t pleasant but it is good. As we realize what triggers certain behaviors and emotions, instead of losing it we can work on self-control.





Pray specifically for help to deal appropriately with those triggers.

The Spirit helps us learn to live with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, being eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:2-3).


The guiding verse for this series on the Fruit of the Spirit is Galatians 5:22-23 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (NLT) 


Go to the Table of Contents to read more posts in this series as they go live.

It’s October so this must be time for 31 Days of Five Minute Friday Free-Writes. The event is hosted by Kate Motaung over at Five Minute Fridays. We write daily for five minutes, or maybe a bit longer. The point is to write. Kate provides writers with a one-word writing prompt each day. Today the prompt AVOID.