We hope that you’ve been able to draw encouragement and practical nuggets from this week’s guest host, Julie Lyles Carr. She is finishing out the week sharing the lessons learned in Galatians regarding being uniquely made. God created you for a purpose and a plan. Do you struggle with who you are? We hope you can lean into, and embrace, God’s smile on you.
Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original. Galatians 5:25-26 (The Message)
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Erica Parkerson: Welcome to The Bible for Busy People. I’m Erica Parkerson. This is the place where we meet up to read half a chapter of God’s word together and remember how loved we are. Jesus extends an amazing invitation to us in the Bible. He says, come to me and I WILL give you rest. This is us RSVPing: Yes!! to that invitation. So take a deep breath, and let’s get started.
Julie Lyles Carr: Hey friend, I’m Julie Lyles Carr, and this is The Bible for Busy People where we share the word of God. We try to do it in seven minutes or under, and this is where you usually find Erica, but she has graciously allowed me to guest host this week. And what a delight it has been to be with you. I hope that our time together has encouraged you, has inspired you, has made you think about some things or noticed some things in the word of God that perhaps you hadn’t seen there before. Today, I wanted to take us into Galatians 5, and we’re gonna start out in the NIV translation, and then we’re gonna wrap it up with a different translation because there’s something in there that I think is really beautiful and really important that I wanna point out.
So let’s start Galatians 5, let’s start in verse 16. And again, this is the NIV and this is Paul writing to the church at Galatia.
“So I say live by the spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the spirit, and the spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other so that you do not know what you want, but if you are led by the spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious; sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery, idolatry, and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you as I did before that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the spirit, let us keep in step with the spirit. Let us not become conceited provoking and envying each other.”
You know, I found out something pretty fascinating when I was writing my first book, Raising an Original. Now, Raising an Original was all about, from a parenting perspective, how to give our kids the room they needed to be the originals that God intends them to be. And it took a deep dive into personality style, and it really unpacks some of the parenting baggage we can sometimes bring to the table with our kids because of our own desires and expectations for them. Sometimes we are trying to fulfill a dream that we had for ourselves that we never got to realize that now we’re putting on our kid. It also helps us think through culturally how sometimes we can get sucked into what the world says we need to do to have quote unquote, “successful children”. We can get really wrapped up in what education our kids are having, or what vocation we think that our kids should head toward. We can spend so much time and energy on extracurricular activities that we can miss out on some of the important times that could be used for guiding our kids in spiritual wisdom. We can even get off track when it comes to having our kids in church all the time, because we can feel like somehow our pastor or our youth pastor or our children’s director are gonna get the spiritual stuff into our kids. And this is also the place where they can really have fun and we check the box and then we don’t have to worry so much about it.
Or we can decide that our kids need to be like every other kid at church. And we can use that as some kind of comparison model, some kind of growth chart for our kids in a way that does not honor that God has original stories for each of his kids. And that what we need to be doing is helping our kids not be perfect kids, but to have purpose, to, to understand what their purpose is with God. Now, what’s interesting, in the course of developing that message for the book and speaking to a lot of people and hearing back from readers, I was so encouraged to hear people say, oh, I got it, I got it. Like I I’m doing it, I’m doing the personality assessment with my kids. And I love that. And I want my kids to know how to be the originals God created them to be, I have a question for you: how am I supposed to be the original that God created me to be? And that is really weighed on me a lot. I’ve done a lot of speaking on it, I have done some writing on it. I don’t know if there’ll be another book in which I unpack that for parents, maybe there should be, but it is tough to convey to those you love, whether that’s your kids or your nieces and nephews, or your grandkids or your siblings, or that young person that you’re mentoring. It’s hard to convey to them how important it is for them to be the original God has created them to be if we are struggling ourselves, to be the original that God has created us to be. And that’s why I wanted to read that passage in Galatians, because it’s at the very end that there’s something that is so powerful there that I see teased out in a different translation that I think is very powerful.
Now we started this week together with me telling you about my dad, and the fact that he was a rocket scientist. We moved around a lot and we lost my dad almost 10 years ago, coming up on nine years now, but almost 10 years ago. And at the time, after he passed, there was a lot that I was processing. And there were a lot of things about his legacy and the lessons that I knew he wanted me to be able to carry forward in my life that were very strongly on my heart. And so when I began the process of writing, Raising an Original, that had happened just a couple years previous, and it was all still very present for me as I was writing. And when I came to writing the last chapter of Raising an Original, this idea of what it takes for all of us to be originals, not just raising our kids, to be the originals that they’re intended to be, but for all of us to embrace that as a heritage from God, was really on my heart. So I want to read this to you, and then I want you to be able to hear this different interpretation of the last part of Galatians that we were on.
I wrote, “Because of the conception, and gestation, and birthing of a book that can take a while, my dad has now been gone for quite a while. In a way that I could not have planned, I’m currently perched on the lower deck of my brother’s lake house in Indiana, a citronella candle flickering ineffectively beside my computer. I’m dancing and wrestling with words. Uh, the keyboard as percussion and swatting at mosquitoes with just enough breeze to make the summer day a contentment. This is the deck where my dad enjoyed his last days on the lake. His last trip, before he would attain eternity. I’m looking across the water to a shoreline he loved. I’m watching jade green current softly push north. I’m seeing boats launch into those waters, heading to new destinations and adventures and days. It all seems an exquisite message. Because my dad was so intentional about launching and about living, I can hear him now. It’s the gift I want to leave for my own kids that long after I’m gone, long after the heirloom China gets chipped and the silver becomes tarnished, I want them to still hear my voice. To know deeply that I saw them for who they each are, cherished in their originalities, integral and singular in God’s blueprint. To receive a certainty that God placed the threads that define them, with their strengths and quirks and joys and challenges with specificity and care. To stand at the banks of the river and to have the cloak, the mantle, the blue shirt of love and legacy that will empower them with God to part the waters and cross into their destinies. To not be distracted by comparison, to activate, to live, to have the courage, to live as an original. So I’m going to tell them again, again, and again. I’m going to show them again, and again, and I challenge you to do the same, not just to hand down material stuff, but also to entrust something far more valuable, far more precious to place into their hands. A treasure of wisdom that they are the very evidence of an intentional God and that they will launch, they will fly, they will contribute in the great, grand, mysterious epic that is the divine Magnum Opus, woven in a chorus of unity with lyrics of harmony, an original song to be sung through the ages.”
And this is what I want you to hear from The Message Bible, Galatians 5:25-26, “Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better. And another worse we have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.”
My prayer for you as you move forward in your life today and in the days to come, is that you appreciate and embrace and you feel God’s smile on you. That you are an original. And when you are able to value and find worthy, the originality God has placed in you, then you can best love and value the originality in others. Thank you so much for letting me be part of your week. This week I would love to see you over at the All Mom Does podcast, which is part of the Purposely podcast network. Again, my name is Julie Lyles Carr, I would love to connect with you on Instagram or the socials, wherever you like. You can look for my books, Raising An Original and Footnotes, wherever you buy your books. God bless you. And thank you so much for being here, for being part of The Bible for Busy People.
Thank you so much for listening to the Bible for Busy People. If you need prayer or you’re ready to go a little deeper in your faith, we’ve posted some resources for you in our show notes. We’d love for you to share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review. It helps us reach even more people with the hope of Jesus. This podcast is part of Purposely, a podcast network designed with practical podcasts to help you find and live in God’s purpose for your life. Find more podcasts that will recharge you at onpurposely.com.