Rashional Thoughts — The humbling nature of the fruit

Rashional Thoughts 2018

Rashional Thoughts — The humbling nature of the fruit

“I honestly believe if we would do more praying and less criticizing we would have a better nation,” Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines said Feb. 14.

Speaking to a group of writers, editors and communicators, Gaines shared how at 60 he can look back now and see he has grown in this area himself.

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten kinder,” he said. “(I want to be) prudent, wise and merciful.

“I used to be a little bit more hard than I am now. … A lot of it is how you see the people you are preaching to. I no longer see them as rebels who need to repent. I see them as people who are hurting and need to be set free.”

Gaines added, “If we are filled with the Spirit, it is the fruit of the Spirit that is going to come out.”

For me, the fruit of the Spirit outlined in Galatians 5:22 and 23 became a foundational Scripture as soon as I chose Jesus fully and completely at 19 years old.

I stray often but the simple, straightforward outline of qualities God desires for our lives to exhibit are always there to keep me grounded and bring me back when I slip — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Essential characteristics

The goal is for all of these characteristics to exist in our hearts.

I’ve heard some note how starting with love allows you to develop each of the traits, one building on the other.

I’ve also heard how they are not individual attributes in and of themselves, that they are all essential characteristics of the fruit and must all be present for there to be fruit.

It’s always humbling to me when I go back to Galatians and recenter on each of the nine and see where some are missing and the ripple effect that caused.

If we were to only consider the first one — love — because it is February, then we might think about the depth of what that means and how we are called to love our enemies as well as our friends.

Real kind of love

Some people are hard to love, it’s true. And even the ones who aren’t hard to love still come with complex natures and baggage that sometimes surface whether intentionally or unintentionally.

No matter the relationship, we aren’t called to a fake, syrupy kind of act but a true, sacrificial, real kind of love.
It’s certainly not possible in our own strength. We must see others through the eyes of Christ.


Rashional Extras – Effective communication for the church

By Jerry Wilkins
Author and retired minister/DOM

People will pay the price to attend your church when they are convinced of the worth and value of it. You do, don’t you? You know the benefits, and you would pay any price to follow Christ and be in church, right?

We are not talking about price as related to an admission fee but the costs of time, energy, giving up other activities, the expectation of tithes and offerings, etc. It’s up to you and your church to communicate the value and the benefits to people so that they would pay any price also to follow Christ and be active in a church.

We expend great energy telling people about an event or program. We tell people the what, when and where, but we often fail to mention the most important information. We forget the benefit or the why they should respond. Telling people why they should respond is of greater importance than the what, when or even where. If they see the why, they’ll search for the when and where.

Church communication is not an advertising or promotional project here and there. It should be a strategy that is ongoing throughout the year just as any other ministry. We must not expect overnight results. We must expect visible results to take time. The results come only if you begin the strategy and stay with it.

Editor’s Note — This is an excerpt from Wilkins’ new book “How to Reach More People: Compel Them in Through
Effective Communication.”


When you find yourself drifting from God you can repent and be restored.

No matter how many times we fall down, He’s there to pick us up and that doesn’t change.

Tim Boyd
Editor, The Baptist Digest (Kansas)


I’m praying for a spiritual awakening, a real revival among our churches that He would fill our churches in such a way that when people leave they aren’t talking about the preacher or the music or anything else but the Lord. To achieve this, you can’t plan a worship service to attract people. You have to plan to attract the manifest presence of the Lord and that will attract the people. You have to have a spiritual ministry. When you have that, that’s when people get saved and see miraculous things happen in their lives.

SBC President Steve Gaines
Pastor, Bellevue Baptist
Church near Memphis, Tennessee


The secret to becoming more productive is not managing your time but your energy.

Feeling uninspired? Keep doing the work. Sometimes the most inspired thing you can do is to keep showing up.

Entitlement is a learned behavior.

I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

“If we want to win the hearts of the next generation, we must not be quick to judge, but quick to listen.” Sam Kim

“There are a thousand ways to be broken and only one way to be made whole. There are a thousand ways to get lost and only one way to come home (to God).” Matt Mason, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham

“The more you grow in your pursuit of Christ-likeness, the more you will naturally live out your God-given role.” Francis Chan