My friend Scott restored a 1984 DeAtley Trans Am Corvette Racer, one of four built and three still exist, from a pile of crash parts, is now on permanent display at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Having been a race car mechanic, crew chief, and restorer for over 40 years, he’s considered by most one of the best in the county.
This restoration took years because some parts were challenging to find, and others had to be totally rebuilt from scratch. However, Scott’s patience and perseverance paid off when he rolled this race-ready Corvette onto the test track. It ran even better than the day it was built because the new parts and fluids were far more durable than the original.
Scott’s amazing Corvette restoration highlights the stark contrast between a restoration, an over-haul, and a tune-up. A distinction most men tend to forget when they come to my office or in talking over the phone.
“I’m here for a tune-up,” is what most men imply during our first couple of meetings. “Just need to work on a few things to fix my relationship, then I’ll be good to go,” or so they think. Or should I say, so they “hope.” Unfortunately for most, a tune-up won’t fix their problems, what’s needed is a total restoration, which will include a complete overhaul of their heart. Startling news for some, but an affirmation of their fears for most. Fearful because they’ve known for some time, even years, that their thoughts and feelings were never quite right within their relationships. Fearful because a heart overhaul looks and feels so intimidating, drawn-out, and unfamiliar. Which it can be, that’s why many start the process with good intentions give up before the heart overhaul is completed. They get enough help to stop hurting, but not enough for complete healing.
The men who don’t give up, stay the course, are delighted to discover that God embedded all the restoration heart parts into us the moment we accepted Him as Savior and Lord.
These virtues or parts came with the Holy Spirit, our “Counselor” in the fruit of the Spirit, described in Galatians 5:22-23 and referred to in John 15:1-16. They include love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Right now, some of you may be asking, weren’t these virtues taught and modeled to us growing up? Didn’t we have the capacity to express, demonstrate, and receive these virtues before we accepted Christ? After all, before we accepted Christ, we shared love, kindness, patience, and self-control in our lives and relationships.
Yes, that’s true, and how well did they work for you? How consistently did you do what’s right vs. what’s convenient? Our efforts to express, demonstrate, or receive these virtues at best is 15% of their initially created capability because of our fallen, sinful nature.
Paul shared this dilemma of our sinful nature in his letter to the Romans 7:17-19, “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.”
Unlike the fallen flawed parts that came with our sinful nature, the virtues bestowed upon us by the Holy Spirit are far better because they were created and crafted by the hand of God.
The Fruit of the Spirit shows us how to live a God-led life as a new creation, who abides in Christ, loves like him, bearing His fruit that transforms everything about us, and leads others to love Him.
If you want to grow in the Fruit of the Spirit, begin by making Galatians 5:22-23 the focus of your daily devotional. Search out each virtue within the scriptures, journal what you discover, and ask God to help you apply what you are learning in your daily life.
Here’s a link to a great Fruit of the Spirit daily devotional https://broadstreetpublishing.com/fruit-of-the-spirit/9781424553938/
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FYI: I also provide one-on-one coaching, if you would like to improve your relationships, or you want someone to talk to, e-mail me at ‘email@example.com’, and we’ll schedule a time to connect. My hope for you is that through these blogs, references, and resources, God will transform you from being bruised or broken to an abundantly blessed man.