My Prayer for the New Year: Gentleness
Birthdays in my house are such a big deal. We make every effort to celebrate each person who has a birthday. My oldest son just had a birthday in December and he's already counting down the days until his next birthday, "My birthday is in 5 days!" Uhh... ok! All this birthday talk reminds me that my birthday is coming up in February and then my youngest son is 5 days after mine.
It takes me back, mostly because I can't believe he is going to be three! Seriously, I keep doing the math and three is the number that's coming up. I can hardly believe it! So I take my disbelief and reflect on bringing him home from the hospital.
There is a 26-month difference between both of my boys. I brought home our baby boy just so excited to introduce him to his big brother. It was such a sweet little moment. Big brother comes over and immediately loves his little brother. He bends down his two-year-old self and goes to kiss his baby brother on the forehead. (And this is where I about had a heart attack.) He bends down, loses his balance, and the boys experience their first ever head bonking!
I was freaked out a bit. I mean, the baby is just two days old, can his head even handle such a trauma? How do you know if a newborn has a concussion? I mean, they sleep all the time anyway! I hate to say it, but the boys bonked heads twice in one week and somehow, my freaked out mommy heart managed. I don't know how... it's still a bit of a traumatic memory for me!
From the first head bonking and even until now (oldest one is now five), I still have to remind him to be gentle. It's easy for him to forget that his little brother doesn't have the same abilities as him. Little brother doesn't possess the same strength and honestly, little brother finds things painful that an older brother may not. Gentleness is the name of the game!
The thing with gentleness is that it's a lesson that's not only meant for the young children in teaching them how to handle themselves around others. It's a lesson that's meant for all ages. Old to young and young to old.
When I think about gentleness in Christian circles, I think about how easy it is for us to forget that not every Christian has our giftings, not every Christian has our understanding, and not every Christian has our experience. In fact, there is no perfect Christian. Yet, it's easy for us to be harsh towards those who are not strong in the same giftings, harsh towards those who don't have the same knowledge, and harsh towards those who do not possess the maturity we may have.
Just like I have to remind my boy to be gentle to his little brother, we have to be reminded to be gentle to one another.
Restore him in a spirit of gentleness! That means that we speak the truth in such a way that love comes through, not harshness. When we speak with love and gentleness, we speak in such a way that the message can be received. When we speak with harshness and judgment, we speak in such a way that the message will be disregarded and fought against.
How am I speaking to the world around me? Is it with gentleness or with harshness? How do I speak to my brothers and sisters in Christ? Do I reflect the gentleness with which Christ speaks to me? If not, ask God what steps need to be taken to be a reflection of Him.
Lord, thank You for this message of gentleness. I ask that you remind me of all the ways you are gentle with me and help me to reflect that same gentleness to the world around me. In Your name, Amen.