*First published October 19, 2008
But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. Galatians 5:22-23/New Living Translation
I choose gentleness.
Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle.
If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer.
If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.
Have you ever laid on your back and looked up through the trees? It's one of my favorite things. Those huge, strong trees feel so gentle and protective. The light sifts through them, glimmering with hope. You can hear the gentle air swaying the leaves. Ahhh....I can feel it now.
As an analogy, the strong trees could be forceful, but choose to be gentle. They allow the Light of Christ to shine through them with a glimmer of hope. They carry the sound of peace.
As Mr. Lucaco says, nothing is won by force. Sure, our armies go out and win battles, but in daily life, most battles are won by gentleness.
I recently had a situation with my son a few weeks back. Oh, goodness, did I have reason to get mad at him! I wanted to explode and administer stiff punishments! Take the car keys away! Ground him! Take his house keys away! Yep, that's what I wanted to do. It would have stopped his behavior -- yep. But I knew it would not change his direction and attitude.
I choose to leave it alone for a while. I did not even confront him with the knowledge of what he had done. I calmed myself down and prayed to God for wisdom and for the right words to say.
Weeks later, the opportunity came and, with gentleness and a calm voice, we had a talk. My gut tells me I did the right thing. He seems to be turned around for the better now.
Sometimes it is better to wait on God and let Him guide you than to be forceful. Just because as parents or in other positions we have authority, it does not mean that we have to be authoratative.