Do you yell?
I hope you do. Because then that means I'm not alone in my failure. I was thinking this morning about yelling at the kids after they haven't listened the first 4,938 times I asked them to do something. I was thinking about yelling when they are being obstinate. I was thinking about yelling because I am tired or stressed.
Then I was thinking about my own imperfections. I was thinking about how it wouldn't improve my behaviour very much if someone yelled at me because of something lousy I did. I was thinking about how the Holy Spirit doesn't yell, but can still convect me of a behaviour I know I need to change. I was thinking about how yelling doesn't really accomplish anything.
Nothing. Nothing at all. Really, when you think about it, while what you are saying might be very important, or might need to get through to someone, using a very loud, yelling voice doesn't improve the transmission of that idea. In fact, it most often would have the opposite effect; our natural defence to being berated is to shut down or put up a protective shell. Essentially, we block out the abuse.
Benjamin has been giving us a run for our money for two years now. The behaviour that most often gets us going is the pure stubborness. He will stand there and refuse to comply with what needs to happen. Sometimes I have the time to talk it through, cajole, cater to his insistence, but sometimes it just needs doing now. And then after asking and asking and asking I lose my cool and I yell.
Do you yell?
I hope you don't. I hope you have mastered the patience it takes to swallow that urge when it rises within. I hope you mastered it so well that it is no longer a part of you, that simply have a peaceful nature. Because that gives me hope that one day I, too, will overcome this weakness within.