There are so many things that could be described as “gentle.”
The gentle cycle on a washer, or the old placid dog who has met many children, come to mind.
But when I hear the word gentle, it brings to mind someone (or something) that is so powerful it doesn’t need to be harsh. I believe meekness is the word I’m searching for.
Jesus certainly fits this description. The Bible tells us he was fully God, yet fully man. Now that’s power! Yet he chose to live the life of a servant, and die a horrible death (he didn’t deserve) to redeem all of mankind.
Perhaps that’s why one of his nicknames is, “Gentle Shepherd.”
Today, let’s all be kinder and gentler than necessary—for Jesus’ sake.
Shuffling into the kitchen early one morning, bleary-eyed and half awake, I reached for my favorite cereal bowl. In went the Cheerios and milk, and I sat down for my daily devotional time.
Reading and eating is one of my favorite things. But today I was in for a shock. Two bites in I saw a spider on the rim. The rim of my cereal bowl, that is!
And it wasn’t any old spider. My right hand, the one I use to feed myself, had come very close to a brown recluse, or fiddle back–one of the most venomous spiders in North America. And my little milk drenched friend didn’t look happy.
Sorry, I don’t have a photo. I normally take a picture of everything I eat and post it on Instagram.
But, this particular morning, the spider frightened me and I dropped my phone (Which was in my other hand, of course).
My blogger buddy, BG O’Neal, shared a scripture this same day that made me think of my tiny eight legged interloper.
“Dead flies can make a whole bottle of perfume stink, and a little stupidity can cancel out the greatest wisdom.” Ecclesiastes 10:1 (GNT)
It only took one spider, who likely fell into the empty bowl in the cupboard, to ruin my whole breakfast. AND he totally creeped me out!
Isn’t this a picture of what happens in interpersonal relationships? We’re sitting on our tuffets, like Little Miss Muffet, when along comes a you know what 🕷 and ruins EVERYTHING. Whole companies and churches have been spoiled in this manner.
“See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” – Hebrews 12:15 (NIV)
I never used to look into a bowl before using it. But now, after the other day, I do it every time!
Heavenly Father. As I walk through this fallen world, among believers and non-believers, help me not to be a “spider on the rim.” In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Disheartening axioms that include no remedy are annoying.😫
Life’s not fair.
So what should we do?
Hold our noses and take it?
Get liquored up and not care?
Turn to a life of clandestine crime against the “bad guys?”
None of these are healthy choices.
Here’s an idea: since life’s not fair, make it fairer.
Now, that’s a possible remedy!
Yes, it’s a tall order, but wonderfully anticipatory. It reminds me of my favorite quote by Martin Luther King, Jr., “Never look for justice, but never cease to give it.”
After all, according to 1 Peter 2:9, “We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that we may declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light.”
We’re torch bearers, not Twinkies in the rain!
The 13th century Persian poet, Rumi, is one of my favorite torch bearer types. No, he wasn’t a Christian, but he’s right about how to make life more decent.
Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.
Next to his quote in my journal I wrote, “A Royal Priest for God – 1 Peter 2:9.”
So what’s the job description for a Royal Priest? I found it in the Old Testament book of Micah–three things we can do to make life fairer.
“He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8 (NIV)
Act Justly – always do right by others. Right = what God would do.
Love Mercy – be kinder than is necessary.
Walk Humbly with God – He’s the Savior. It’s not about us.
If enough of God’s people consistently did these things, it could make the world a better place.
My father, a math teacher, used to say, “Life is like arithmetic. In any given situation people either add, subtract, multiply or divide.”
Sounds like a plan! We should at LEAST add to the quality of life around us, and make it our goal to multiply.