February 3, 2011
My One Word jumped up and slapped me in the face on January 30. Not a very nice thing to do, considering the word is gentle.
My husband and I were taking our daughter to a skating party that day. He said something to me in the car that made me mad. Just a couple days later, I cannot for the life of me remember what he said. But I responded like a spoiled brat, spewing sarcasm at him. Then I looked out the window. Right next to our car was one of my very close friends, sitting in the front seat of her van, waiting for a sleeping child to wake before going into the skating rink.
The thought of her seeing my ugly display struck panic in my heart. Never mind that I had insulted my husband and grieved the Holy Spirit. I felt the worldly grief of getting caught. Later, true spiritual grief came at the realization that I could be so bitter one moment with a member of my family, then turn around and act sweet and charming to friends and total strangers at a party.
I think gentle is sort of a boring My One Word. Yet, I want a gentle heart, a genuinely gentle heart. Not one that shows up for duty during public moments, or when everything is going my way. Not one that appears gentle on the surface, while inside I am pouncing on someones shortcomings.
Apparently this gentle heart doesnt come naturally, at least not for me. I do believe it will come supernaturally as I allow myself to be led by the Spirit. But what can I do to cooperate in the process?
Ive only come up with a couple things: One, start each day asking the Lord to help me to forgive others faults as he has forgiven mine. Ephesians 4:2 says, Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Two, when tempted to speak harshly to my husband or 7-year-old daughter, I can take a few deep breaths and begin my sentence with a term of endearment. That sounds like a corny technique that doesnt begin to tackle the iceberg below, but according to Proverbs 15:1, A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Maybe the wrath thats turned away will be mine.
Somehow I think God is chuckling at me for thinking My One Word is boring. I just hope Hes gentle with me.
Katy Davis came to Christ four years ago, with the extremely gentle guidance of her awesome husband and the body of believers at PC3. She is a freelance writer in the surreal world of advertising.