Devotional on learning to treat each other with kindness and gentleness
Recently, I spent a morning at the Tennessee Aquarium with a friend and her young boy, about the same age as my boy. The boys had a blast! My son enjoyed showing his friend all around and making sure he saw the best highlights.
One of our favorite exhibits is The Butterfly Garden, an exquisite little room with hundreds of butterflies flying around you. How I would love to rent that room all to myself and just read and dream and write!
Well, they have signs all around showing you how to treat the butterflies and stating that butterflies are fragile.
Our boys are three and four. They are typical boys and a little wild sometimes. They were both trying to pinch the butterflies to pick them up. (Not what you are supposed to do by the way). In addition, they were trying to catch the butterflies by chasing them and slapping their hands together. Also not the right way.
My friend and I were both trying at different points to teach these young boys to be gentle and, “No we don’t slap the butterflies. That can hurt them and they are too beautiful to harm.”
I am happy to report that at least once they both were trying so hard to be gentle. It was rather adorable.
Lesson on Treating Others Gently:
In the same way, this is how we should be treating our neighbors. It made me think about how God looks at us. He thinks we are all too beautiful to harm. He knows how fragile we can be sometimes.
And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?Matthew 6: 28-29 NLT
And the best way to “catch” someone is by being still, listening, and being gentle. Most people do not respond to pinching or chasing.
This is just what our Heavenly Father calls us to do.
Love your neighbor as yourself.Matthew 22:39 (NIV)
Like the butterflies in that garden, we are all beautiful and fragile and way too important to harm.
So as you go throughout your days, remember that each person is a unique butterfly, designed by God, just the way they are. Let’s remember to treat each other like the beautiful and unique people we are, always with kindness, grace, and gentleness.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.Psalms 139: 14 (NIV)