The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2.2)
I know you won’t believe this, but sometimes those adorable little cherubs up there drive me right over the edge of sanity.
Well, actually, that’s not true. They may create the pressure, but the Bible explains so clearly that the desire to sin is in me. But that’s another topic for another day.
I find myself blowing my lid more often than I’d like. Sometimes I kick myself: “Danica, they’re kids. Be patient.” And sometimes I think, How else do I communicate that you may not attack your brother???
But here’s the thing: I don’t want to communicate anything to these little disciples but what God wants communicated. I’m just His representative, after all. When I ask a boy to deliver a message from Mama to the siblings, I’m not pleased when I hear him yelling at them with words and tone that I did not send. I expect him to begin with “Mama said…” and to continue with the kindness I first communicated. The strength of the command is in those little words, “Mama said.” If they don’t respond to that, we have a problem. But big brothers (or sassy little sister) yelling at them isn’t going to help the situation.
And so God “sends” me. This mothering thing is His assignment for me. I didn’t come up with it. I didn’t even dream of it. It’s just what He called me to one day, and I am thrilled to serve Him in this. I have become an evangelist, a shepherdess, a discipler, a teacher — in short, the mouth and hands of God to these precious lives.
If I am His mouth, then I need to simply echo what He’s asked me to say.
Sometimes I scoff at His ideas. I think, I’ll improve the message a bit. I’m sure that if I raise my voice a few notches, bark a little, grit my teeth — I think that’ll help get results we’re looking for.
He must cringe. Like I do when I hear the messenger yelling at my beloved children.
This morning, I read 2 Timothy 2:2 for the umpteenth time. Gentleness. The correcting is required; tolerating sin, turning a blind eye, making an excuse for them isn’t what I’ve been asked to do. But the correction is to be firm, consistent, and gentle.
I don’t always know what that looks like. But that doesn’t give me permission to throw out the Bible and say, “I’m gonna do it my way.” All it means is I better learn. And God will show me. He will tell me and teach me, but most of all, He shows me.
We have a gentle Shepherd, after all.