Thursday, May 03, 2012

The Gentleness/Patience Connection

When I was a younger I loved to take things apart. Many times after taking things apart I couldn't always get them back together correctly. Sometimes there were extra parts and other times something broke in either the dismantling or the "remantling" of the item. I often ran into the problem of not having enough patience as I tried to put something back together. In my desire to fix what ever I was working on I would end up trying to force things back together. More often than not the end result was not the desired result.

"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

I love what Paul is telling us to do here but there is always a limit to how much of someone else's burden that we can carry. There is nothing more painful than watching a loved one go through something that we cannot fix. It is especially painful for those of us that are the "Fix-it" type. It is in our very nature to want to solve every problem that we–and others–face. It is my opinion that "Fix-it" types have a deep-seated desire to see all people happy and free of conflict.

Unfortunately that isn't the way life works.

If we take a step back and look at the immediately preceding verse Paul gives us some very good insight as to what we need to do in these types of situations.

"Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted." Galatians 6:1

The principle that Paul is giving here applies to more than just situations of sinful behavior. It fits even when we are dealing with someone going through the general struggles of life. Paul tells us to act in a spirit of gentleness. As a "Fix-it" type I can assure you that this can be much easier said than done. It can be frustrating to see someone going through an issue and feeling powerless to do anything. And when we act out of that frustration we can act in ways that lack gentleness. And it is in these times that trying to fix things can end up doing far more harm than good. So there are times that being gentle means being patient enough to allow all of the pieces to go back together naturally.


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