Christian Living

Spiritual Life

A Gentle Giant

When I was a child, an unpleasant man lived in our neighborhood. He was tall, heavy-set, broad-shouldered, and roared at his wife and children like a volcano that regularly erupted. When he mowed his lawn he always wore a big scowl, even when we smiled at him. The men of the community avoided contact with him, nodding respectfully as they passed, but getting little or no response.

One day while some of the neighborhood kids were playing softball in our front yard, a wild hit made its way to the man's yard and crashed through his kitchen window. We froze in our tracks, terrified of what he might do. He charged out of his house with the ball in his hand. My mouth turned dry and my hands gripped the bat tightly as he headed straight for me.

Then suddenly my father came out of our house, all 130 pounds of him. I almost fainted for my father was no match for him. The man's voice boomed at us, demanding to know who had done it. My father put his arm around my shoulders and gently said, "My daughter is responsible and we are truly sorry. I expect to replace your window."

I held my breath while the other kids hovered together as they inched away from us. The man's face lost its grimace as his eyes met my father's. He accepted my father's apology and told him it was not necessary for us to replace it. They shook hands and I saw the big man smile. As he walked away, that giant of a man began to shrink in front of me, while my father grew in stature right before my eyes.

I remembered Solomon's advice in Proverbs 15:1:

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (NIV).

Our human nature makes us want to fight the enemy on his terms—anger for anger, hate for hate. Both Solomon and Jesus advised just the opposite. Jesus said in Luke 6:27-28,

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you" (NIV).

Although the neighbor was not an enemy, he could easily have become one if my father had met him in the spirit of anger. But he didn't. He let the Spirit of God lead him to a gentle answer and it turned a potential enemy into a long-lasting friend.

Since that day I have prayed for the wisdom of both my fathers: my Heavenly Father from whom such wisdom originates, and my earthly father who exemplified it so well.

Alice Stone Thomas © 2015, printed with permission.

Can God change your life?

God has made it possible for you to know Him and experience an amazing change in your own life. Discover how you can find peace with God. You can also send us your prayer requests.

We encourage users who wish to comment on our material to do so through our CBN Facebook page.

Loading Webform

Can We Pray For You?

Error: There was an internal error submitting your form. Please check your information and try again or call us at 1-800-759-0700

Get FREE "He Cares for You" teaching sheet

Build up your faith as you meditate on inspiring Scripture verses of how much God loves you

Get more than a Sunday sermon. Get to know others seeking God’s guidance and wisdom for life.
We are here to help and encourage you! Send a prayer request now, or call 1‑800‑700‑7000
Can God change your life? God made it possible for you to know. Discover God's peace now.
Download the free myCBN app. Share your prayer requests, receive prayer and pray for others!
Living the Christian life is a journey. Discover steps to bring you closer to Christ.
Get Email Updates
Give Now