“You’re going to have to flex your muscles.” I heard it over and over again this week in response to problems needing solved. I even heard myself say it once.
The words traveled through my ears down into my heart which sank like a lead weight. This idea of using power or force, of asserting strength to “get something done” in a relationship, well, it just refuses to be at home in my heart.
The words entered and every reflex of my heart thrashed about with brooms, clearing it away as quickly as it entered. My heart violently resisted this intruder of peace.
I’ve been strong-armed before. I know what it feels like to be coerced; bullied. I have had others squash down their power of influence upon my dignity and worth. Never once did it build me up or make me better. It only made me shut down.
“Lord,” I prayed, “help me not to choose a strategy of power if there be any means of peace.”
“Love is the most powerful muscle there is. Flex it.”
“Do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” ~Romans 2:4.
“Love is kind” ~I Corinthians 13:4.
Yes, that is the way of the Savior; that has been the way of My Savior when things in my life have needed changing. Yes, I can flex that muscle. It won’t be easy, but it is necessary. It will take longer than force, but it will be more effective. Force may change the situation, but love transforms our hearts.
There are times when a situation calls for something to be done. It simply cannot go on like it is any longer. We must be a catalyst for change–the gospel calls us to it. We can choose weapons, titles, positions, and power or we can muscle it through with love. Power break us; loves shapes us.
Love is the most powerful muscle of all. Flex it.
Are you in a difficult situation that needs to be changed? What would it look like for you to choose love?