Human personality is a garden to be tended.
It requires persistent weeding, seeding and overseeing, all the mundane and patient labors that stand unseen behind a riot of color.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31–32 NIV)
For most of us, there is no easy path to the temperament and conduct that reflect a Creator’s and Savior’s presence within and make us worth remembering.
Evidence is the length of Paul’s list temperamental vices as it rolls off his tongue. Bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander. And, just in case a poisonous weed has remained unnamed, every form of malice.
They are legion, these hard, killing qualities of the unnecessary warrior. It is hard indeed to stop fighting.
Yet Paul thinks it can be done, no doubt with the enabling power of Christ’s Spirit.
Having been forgiven, we can become kind, compassionate, forgiving. These traits do not appear easily in nature. The grow only where the jungle has been pushed back. That task wearies, cuts, and sometimes exhausts.
Yet how beautiful, how peaceable the garden.