My older brother, TJ and I grew up in the hills of Tennessee. We were homeschooled and sometimes only had each other for near-age companionship. Despite his occasional tendency to aggravate, we were best friends. He schooled me in two-hand football, and I made him play “house” with me. Well, that was rare. Actually, I was usually the one following him around like a loyal puppy dog, and joined right in with his and his friends’ daring escapades.
I was a scrawny eight year old, but I had learned to be tough. The boys built a bike ramp at the top of the hill. The idea was to hit it at the right speed and soar through the air, thumping down to glide through the trees all the way down to the bottom of the steep hill. No one wanted to go first. Scared-cat cut-downs were being passed around when I piped up that I would go first. I think they were still figuring out what to do when they realized that I had already jumped the ramp and I was triumphantly dodging trees down the hill.
The tomboy reputation continued. The boys were standing in the street talking smack and throwing out witty comebacks. The retorts were a funny game until I got involved. That day the boys walked away, beaten by the shortest comeback queen of the block. I even popped a boy across his jaw one day because he made me mad. He refused to fight with me, since I was a girl. (Looking back, I’m glad he didn’t; he probably would have cleaned my clock!)
The circumstances surrounding my life cannot be blamed for crafting me. My foolish responses to my environment were crafting my attitudes. I remember gloating after those instances and trying to feel cool, but had felt uncomfortable inside. Even as children we can be sensitive to the Lord, and deep inside I knew this unsettled feeling was trying to remind me of the way I had been taught to act. Yet, I pushed God out of the picture, and ignored the moments that He would have worked sweetness of spirit in me.
Unpacking the Application
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another. Romans 12:10 NKJV
As we continue through the next few posts, ask God to give you a revelation about sweetness of spirit. God may desire to begin a new work in you concerning this area. Respond to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Write what God shows you in your journal.
Do you blame your circumstances for the way you respond? Are you paying attention to the moments that God would do a work in you?
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