Doing What Comes Unnaturally

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.

  • Jennifer

    Thanks Katy for your post–it jumped right out and convicted me as that is my one word for this year and have been wondering if it should be mine because I, like you, thought it was kind of boring but it is definitely an area God is working on in my heart and He is probably chuckling at me too. Thanks again for the encouragement!

  • Hi Jennifer! Thanks for taking the time to write those kindred comments. I am praying that we both get a lot of our word this year. 🙂 God bless you! ~katy

  • Dolores

    I was listening to you on the radio one morning . When you mentioned the pick one word love came to my mind. TO receive and give unconditionally

  • nancy

    My word is discipline. someone on lisa and Eric’s morning show had chosen that word. I had not decided to choose a word and had not considered any words. actually I thought it was a silly idea. but when the word discipline was spoken, I knew it was MY word. I am so glad that God is God and I am not. this word has already impacted my life and behavior. when I reach for an extra cookie I hear the word discipline and the cookie never reaches my lips. I am shocked at how powerful one word is. wait….God is powerful, always, why am I shocked…. ah I continue to learn each day. God IS good!!

  • polly

    I have been trying to choose a word all month. I have bounced from word to word. Thinking up all these wonderful reasons to choose them. For a while connect was my word. I wanted to connect to everything and everyone and connected the word connect to them.
    Work as been very stressful for me as I work as an education/disability manager at a Head Start program. A new executive director was hired a year ago and she has changed many things. I truly do understand change is inevitable and she was hired to “fix” a program that had weak direction for several years and no direction for the last year and a half. Budgetary concerns are in every program that is funded by government. I have been working here for just over a year and really love my job and the program so when it was announced that 13 positions were going to be cut next fall I was devastated. I have very little confidence in my abilities so I worry. I keep telling myself God will take care of me he always has. I have never been without a paycheck since I was 14 years old. I have never worried about how the bills were going to be paid. So why do I put myself through this. I think of how Peter started sink into the water. I think oh you of so little faith.
    I have plaque above my desk that reads Sorrow Looks Back, Worry Looks Around, Faith Looks Up. I still am not doing what I need to.
    While putting together a training for staff on discipline my word just jumped out at me. We are using Dr. Becky Bailey’s discipline program called Conscious Discipline. She inspired my word, Conscious. I need to be conscious of everything I do, say, and think.
    I need to consciously think of God whenever I start to worry or lose my confidence. What happens is I start to think about others that are better than me that will get the job I want. I think of the person who does something I think is wrong and how that makes me look better for the job. I need to be conscious of how God takes care of ALL of us and loves us all. We all stand alone with Him together. Not against each other for Him.
    So my mantra for the year “be conscious” of what you say, think and do!
    God Bless:)