Gail Rodgers Sharing the Journey

Growing My Faith Part 09 - Company's Coming

Getting a house full of company? Often the holiday season has us brushing shoulders with friends and family. Sometimes we are happy to be together and other times relationships can be tense.

God understands our human nature and tells us just how to respond when we feel tension stirring. He says:

“A soft answer turns away anger but harsh words stir it up”. Proverbs 15:1

Keeping this in the forefront of your thoughts can be a big help. Think about your own responses lately. Are you using the stirring spoon of harsh words and a raised voice? You can put a soft response in its place. There are times we need to be firm but with a gentleness that God can give.

Envision yourself with a hoola hoop around your waist. The area inside the hoola hoop represents your area of control. It is your own thoughts, your feelings, your ideas, your passions, your decisions and your words - all that you are responsible for.

Now envision a second larger circle outside the first. This is the circle that represents other people’s thoughts, emotions, decisions, passions, ideas and words. You have no control here, only influence.

Think about what’s been happening this week inside your hoola hoop. Have you been reacting to life’s pressures by stirring the spoon of harsh words, a raised voice or angry tones? Are your thoughts or emotions spiraling you down?

Invite Jesus into the areas of life where your reactions are abrasive. He will give His strength where yours is weak. Then you will be less inclined to reach into the next person’s hoola hoop to try to control the decisions, ideas, words and feelings of others. You will be more aware of the gentle influence you can have when you “respond” with Jesus’ help rather than “react” with your own sandpaper.

Turn your reactions into chosen responses by the power of the Holy Spirit.

prayer & reflection

Father God,
As we move into the busy season of celebrating the birth of Your Son, help me to respond to the situations and people in my life with a gentleness that comes from You. Help me to tend what is in my own hoola hoop and be less concerned with what is in another’s. Fill me with Your gentleness and help me to put away the stirring spoon as I rub shoulders with those in my life.
In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.