Do you want to be a positive, constructive, free, easy-going person, and be that way toward others? To do that, whether we’re talking about you or someone else in your life, you need to be aware of the whole person – the strong points and the weak points.
Paul addresses the weak points of his friends in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 when he says, “I brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ” (KJV). He wanted them to see themselves as they really were.
I’m sure you have some strong points and nice things about you, and there are areas in your life where you feel you are a worthwhile person to be around. These qualities are very positive. But you also have some weak and nasty traits that Paul calls “carnal.” Concentrating on correcting the weak areas in your life is what will keep you emotionally healthy and able to move forward in your relationships.
Paul identifies some of these weak points as he continues to address his friends in 1 Corinthians 3:3, “For whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal?”
How about you? Is there envy in your heart? If so, you will feel disturbed, annoyed, and/or upset over somebody else’s qualities and opportunities. As well, strife and division will affect you in the same way and will bring with them wrangling, disagreements, arguments, and contentions.
Could we be talking about “attitude” here? Your attitude is something only you can choose to change. You must make the choice on how to respond to individuals who upset you. Since your attitude is determined by your spirit, if your spirit is carnal, there will need to be changes. That change can only come through the fruit of the Spirit of God as defined in Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV).
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”
Now that’s good news, for it brings the solution to the carnal spirit. But you must be willing to make the adjustments connected with the fruit of the Spirit. You can only do that through God, as He is the one who gives you these qualities, and they are yours for the asking.
Having the spirit of longsuffering will enable you to keep working on your weak points as long as necessary to deal with the divisive spirit called carnality. As an added bonus you will find your response to others beginning to change because the joy of the Lord lives in your heart. Rather than responding with those nasty traits of your carnal spirit, you will respond happily, joyfully, and peacefully, remembering your peace doesn’t depend on whether someone or some circumstances are difficult. It depends on the fruit of the Spirit that lives within you. Your attitude will then be one of love, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control.
Knowing now what is carnal and what is spiritual, you have the opportunity to ”locate yourself.” Are you carnal or are you spiritual?
Take a step . . .
Identify the carnal spirit that keeps you from effectively relating yourself to other people. Ask God to fill you with His Spirit and to give you the qualities that will enable you to effectively relate to people in a new way. Choose to let go of your “carnal” behavior.
This summary is from Dr. Brandt’s message, Locate Yourself.