“Why won’t this thing budge?”
I was getting frustrated. I had been trying to pull something to move it to another position, but the stubborn object just won’t move. Frustrated, I took a deep breath and decided to try something I hadn’t tried earlier.
“Try relaxing and move it gently and see”, I reasoned with myself.
Surprisingly, after putting aside brute force and taking my time to move it gently, the thing moved so smoothly I couldn’t help glaring at it.
You know how someway somehow God manages to teach us a lesson or two through daily occurrences? Immediately, two things came to mind regarding prayer and our words. Don’t stop yet, keep reading 😉
Sometimes, most of the time actually, we’re strongest when we are gentle. It might not make much sense, One of the greatest examples is in our words.
A gentle answer
“A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”
Proverbs 15:1 NLT
It’s often easier to “tell them a piece of our mind” in the heat of the moment than to calm down and think things through. But applying force at the wrong time and to the wrong things could cause irreparable damage, set us back and not achieve the result we may have hoped for.
Let me speak my mind!
Let’s be honest. Sometimes, speaking our minds at the top of our lungs feels good and even empowering. But at the end of the day what that does is just push apart two defensive people who want to make themselves heard instead of to listen and understand.
By all means, if you feel hurt or unhappy about something, it’s best to express how you feel. But the timing and wording could make a whole lot of difference, like calming a fire that could have caused uncontrollable damage.
“Why do I always have to be the gentle one?”, you may ask.
But remember, gentleness isn’t weakness. On the contrary, it makes you stronger than you think and the better party. It helps put a perspective on things that otherwise don’t make sense. It helps us put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. It doesn’t mean not holding the other person accountable, but it makes it easier to be gracious about it.
Having such a mindset even in marriage or relationships can work wonders. Your partner could be driving you nuts at that particular moment, but your next action or response could determine whether you’ll both burst out laughing together or probably not speaking to each other for the next few days.
But what about the violent take it by force?
Aahhhh, that powerful verse! Almost every time I hear or see it, I imagine myself stomping, yelling, commanding that issue to go, that mountain to be made plain! Yes, spiritually, we must be forceful, even in times when that problem we’re praying consistently about won’t budge. Sometimes it may feel like our prayers are hitting a wall, but we have to keep tugging because in Jesus’ own words:
““Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”
Matthew 7:7 NLT
Even in times when your prayers seem just like a whisper and you feel you can’t keep going anymore, keep tugging.
Even if it’s a gentle tug, it’s better than no tug at all.
Even if the issue doesn’t seem to budge, if only God will open your eyes, you’ll realize that that persistent problem is moving little by little. Like a chest of drawers you’re trying to push; you may not be able to move it all at once, but little by little you’ll get there.
Gentle but mighty
Lastly, being gentle by no means implies you should be a pushover. Persist, work your way through. When people look at that gentle lady or man, they’ll have no doubt that you’re a force to reckon with. But more importantly, you’ll have that deep sense of fulfillment knowing that you have:
“…the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.”
1 Peter 3:4 NLT
So, what are you trying to move today? The right amount of force or pressure can do the trick. You just have to know when to push, when to let go, and above all remember, gentleness is never weakness or timidity. Instead, it could lead to triumph in so many ways you never imagined.
P.S. I’d love to hear about your own experience regarding such situations. Please share it in the comment section, you never know who’ll be blessed by it!