You Can't Run on Empty

han-gry

/ˈhaNGɡrē/

Adjective: bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger.

"I get very hangry if I miss a meal."


If you haven’t heard the word “hangry” before, let me enlighten you. It’s typically used to describe someone who is easily frustrated or offended because they are hungry. And, more than I’d like to admit, it can describe me. I’ve been known to pick a fight with my husband because I’ve naively chosen to eat a late dinner and gotten too hungry. I always regret how I acted and apologize, but I’d much rather catch myself before I respond to make the apology unnecessary. So, I’ve been more intentional lately about eating snacks to prevent any future blow ups.


And that got me thinking. It’s only when I’m running on empty that I respond with anger and intolerance. If I make sure to fill up ahead of time, I respond to the same situation in a very different way. Isn’t that also true of our spiritual lives? We’re called to love our neighbors, but we can’t expect to respond to others in kindness when we’re spiritually depleted.


During his ministry on earth, Jesus said, “Just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” If we want to be good representations of Jesus, we have to stay spiritually fueled up. For me, that means putting on the full armor of God before my feet hit the floor each morning, daily reading the Bible, talking to God throughout my day, and surrounding myself with a strong Christian community. It takes intentionality and hard work. But God promises a reward for your effort—the fruits of the Spirit.


“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! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” Galatians 5:22-25 NLT


In this letter to early Christians in Galatia, the Apostle Paul talks about how the Holy Spirit develops good fruit in us as we learn to give up our selfish desires and follow the Holy Spirit’s prompting in every part of our lives.


So, consider your answers to these questions as we begin the new year:

  • What do you need to surrender to God so you can more closely follow where the Holy Spirit leads you?

  • What habits do you need to change to avoid becoming spiritually depleted?

  • What one practice can you start that will help you stay fueled up and displaying the fruits of the Spirit to those around you?

In His Love,

Rachel Feuerborn

Changed Women's Ministry