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by Beneth Peters Jones
Excerpted from Lights on Main Street
Our coffeemaker one morning produced considerably more than was expected. With no big demands screaming at me from either the calendar or the clock, I was enjoying a rare, rather easy-going morning. First to be done was exercise, second to prepare and eat breakfast, and then to spend my private time with the Lord. In the second activity I encountered an annoying slow-down caused by the coffeemaker.
Coffeemakers are a wonderful modern convenience. I appreciate ours because it takes some hassle out of breakfast preparation. Although our appliance generally has been faithful and effective, it occasionally fails to perform properly due to a stubborn coffee basket. It's as if the latch on the basket locks its jaw and refuses to open.
On the morning mentioned, the coffeemaker and I had an extended contest, and it seemed to be winning. I had pushed, pulled, and fussed--all to no avail. Then I inadvertently gave a tiny lift; it freed the arm mechanism, enabling me to open the basket. Our coffee tasted especially good to me that day. But the flavor that really lingered was connected not to the coffee, but to the coffee basket.
Just a little lift. That's a lesson appropriate to personal relationships in my daily life. For instance, when I need to "fill" someone with advice, instead of either tugging or pushing, mightn't a little lift of kind attitude and patient words make that person receptive? When I need to "empty" a counselee of wrong direction or wrong spirit, mightn't a "lift" of commendation or encouragement predispose her to the necessary emptying?
Second Timothy 2:24-25a is a passage that can be applied to this situation: "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves." In other words, let's remember to give just a little lift.
Proverbs 31:26 "She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness."
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