Saturday, October 04, 2014

restore in a spirit of gentleness

What is your reaction to someone who hurts or offends you? How do you treat someone who has made a mistake?

At work, it's easy when someone else makes a mistake, at least for me. I point it out, and giggle and say, that's fine, next mistake is my turn. Because it usually is. I want to be gentle with others because I want them to be gentle with me. I want to correct mistakes because the work is important.

I think it is easy there because it is about the work and not about the people.

At home, it is much harder. I see something wrong, and I know it's wrong, and I turn the other way because confrontation is uncomfortable. I wait too long to speak up. By the time I do, I am so frustrated that even if I am not yelling, I still have that edge to my voice, and they know I am angry. When it is someone close to me, it is harder to be gentle. When it is my daughters, I confess, I still treat them as their momma, which I am, but they are adults now and not children. I don't always treat them with respect. I still speak to them in a way I would never dare speak to another adult.

My daughters are beautiful adult women now
and I must treat them as such!
Today this scripture from Galatians 6:1 jumped out at me.

My brothers,if someone is detected in some wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore that one in a spirit of gentleness, taking care lest you yourself be tempted. 

Note there is wrongdoing. It is not to be ignored. God wants to restore all things, make it right. He wants to use us in that process, but to do so in the spirit. He instructs us to gently restore, forgive, make it right from the fruit of the Spirit He planted inside of us.

Gentleness and humility are the keys to the process. No one likes to be corrected. No one wants to be caught in wrongdoing. It is painful, embarrassing. So I need to be kind and patient when correcting others. The other option is being angry, condemning, condescending, impatient. I have thought in the past that the louder I spoke, the more effective my words.  Nothing could be further from the truth. The softer my words, the more others will listen.

Father, it is so hard to do this consistently but I have experienced that this approach works! You want me to succeed in restoring others, especially those I love most. Please help me not shy away from speaking truth in love when it is needed. However, let me do it Your way. Give me Your wisdom, Your words, Your timing, Your gentleness from Your Holy Spirit. Let me expect great things because I can trust You.  

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