By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you… 2 Corinthians 10:1a NIV
Samuel proclaimed that we speak to hearts, "not by might, nor by power, but by (the) Spirit" John said the same thing in his gospel (1:13) It seems that nothing good or lasting is accomplished by the harshness of "my way" I heard from one of my student's moms that her daughter was in tears over a report she worked hard on and I was harsh, thinking it was not all her own work. I pound out dozens of notes a day to students and I pounded this one out to this sweet girl with only what I want and what I thought I was seeing. I saw wrong. She has been on my mind all weekend, but only this morning did she move to my heart, as an offering to my LORD.
Long ago, as a babe in Messiah, I learned that when I am confronting (or confronted) someone, that I should take a moment to draw a capital "I" with my toe in the sand (the idea came from an African missionary, I am not often barefoot or in the sand, but you get my point). Then, before I speak, "cross" out the "I", make sure that the Spirit of God is able to speak through me. Amy Carmichael said much the same thing, "…let the gentleness and self forgetfulness of the Lord speak through me…" when tempted to be harsh, a follower of rules, when insisting on something that is hard, or that calls for creativity that a student just isn't feeling (wanting more to get out of that chair and into the sunshine with friends… they are children after all). When I am misunderstood, when there is unfairness, stubbornness, misunderstanding of any kind, I want to remember to "cross out the I" and let Y'shua speak (often it is actually me who needs ears to hear, not the soul standing before me).
Draw me near dear Lord, Let me remember to take up my cross and to let you live through me, even as I follow you.