For a parent, grandparent, aunt, or anyone that has a younger person in his/her life, there is seldom any feeling that competes with the joy felt watching them make good, Christian decisions. Right? We pray for their success, salvation, and decision making.. It isn’t often we are fortunate enough to witness it in action. Recently I was and it touched me so deeply I cried happy tears.
We have a beloved family member that is truly ill and frankly just not himself. It is an ongoing issue that has lasted three years. Talk about a test of faith! Well, that’s an entirely different blog. In this situation advice is overflowing on what others would do. We are never at a loss for unsolicited, well meaning counsel. Much of the advice is tough love and some not even Biblically based. Discussions with this sweet family member and others border on disrespectful. It all breaks my heart. How is that going to help? Being disrespectful will never aid in any circumstance.
Last week I sought advise from my adult son. He was raised in our Christian home so I decided it was time to trust my work and him. Wow. I was not disappointed and can honestly say I was overcome with joy. His response to me was “My thoughts are to try to treat him like Jesus would. You know, the whole What Would Jesus Do. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?” I was speechless as I nodded.
Leave it to my adult son to remind me of what I already knew. There is no secret fix or magic involved to help a loved one. Lift him up to God and love him. Treat him tenderly. Isn’t that what Jesus would do? Didn’t he teach us by example that we are to love others more than ourselves? Jesus did not teach disrespect, yelling, fighting, and leaving. No, He taught compassion, love, and caring. Any and all I needed can be found in my life manual, the Bible. I just needed to think about what would Jesus do, and then do it.
I realized then that I had known all along what to do. Like Jesus I needed to listen to God and obey Him. I needed to be sweet, tender, caring and giving. There is no place for disrespect in this situation. Just respect and kindness. Often when we are sick, we aren’t ourselves. Having someone talk sharply can only make things worse. Ignoring the sick person or withholding care is a horrible idea. Leaving is definitely not the answer. I can never go wrong with loving and praying. Bet you won’t either if you ever need my two cents.
Try a little tenderness and honey instead of harshness and vinegar in your words. My sweet Mammaw would say “you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” How true. We need to try some love and Jesus. I know I will. Thank you, oh wise son, for the reminder. Out of all the advice, yours was right on the money. Your advice is the one to follow. In fact, I am going to look for my WWJD bracelet, too.
“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
Proverb 16:24 KJV