So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. — Galatians 5:16-17
A story is told of a holy man who was engaged in his morning meditation under a tree whose roots stretched out over the riverbank. During his meditation, he noticed the river was rising and a scorpion caught in the roots was about to drown. He crawled out on the roots and reached down to free the scorpion, but every time he did so, the scorpion struck back at him.
An observer came along and said to the holy man, “Don’t you know that’s a scorpion, and it’s in the nature of a scorpion to want to sting?”
The holy man replied, “That may well be. But it is my nature to save, and must I change my nature because the scorpion does not change its nature?”
As counterintuitive as it may seem at times, we as Christians are called to live up to a higher standard than the rest of the world. Like the holy man, we’re called to save when the world wants to sting us. We’re called to forgive when our instinct is to harbor anger. And, we’re called to consider others better than ourselves.
So how is this accomplished? It’s done by walking in the Spirit—something the world can’t do and only believers can. It’s in the Spirit that you can do what is foolish to the flesh but pleasing to God. Walk in the Spirit today.
Ask God to help you walk in the Spirit every day and put away living by the flesh.
Questions for thought
Why do you think God has called us as Christians to live in a way remarkably different than the world around us?
What might living a counterintuitive life according to the Spirit look like for you?